Welcome to WWU, where new students will find excellent opportunities to learn and grow both academically and socially
As fall quarter approaches, we are very busy here on campus preparing for another academic year. There is a special excitement as the campus gets ready – from renovating and restoring our buildings and beautiful grounds to preparing classrooms, labs and residence halls.
As Western president for a year, I’m still pretty new. And what a truly remarkable place this is. What has impressed me by far over the past year is the exceedingly high caliber of our students, faculty and staff. Through listening sessions I held last year to learn as much as I could about Western, the constant was how talented and caring our campus community really is. Our academic excellence is unquestioned, due in large part to our gifted faculty who actively involve undergraduate students in their research.
So know that your students, our students, have made an excellent choice to come to Western, where they will have many opportunities to pursue their academic goals. And they will be surrounded by faculty and staff who are dedicated to helping them succeed.
For example, faculty and undergraduate students in our neurosciences program are gleaning insights into the brain, studying diseases like schizophrenia and functions such as memory. And our Advanced Materials Science & Engineering Center is supporting private sector innovation through cutting-edge research: Our students are helping manufacturers develop low-wake ferries and lightweight, fuel-efficient municipal buses.
These projects are more than just terrific opportunities for undergraduates. Western is a place for students to learn important knowledge and skills, but also to develop and progress as human beings and as educated members of our society. Our economic health – and our democracy – depend on the future leaders and innovators graduating from Western.
And we at WWU, including your students, are lucky enough to live and work in such a spectacular setting, with views from campus onto Bellingham Bay out to the San Juan Islands and the not-so-distant Canadian Rockies. Nearby is Mount Baker and boundless recreational opportunities. Just over the border is Vancouver, B.C., which this winter will be hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics.
I hope to meet many of you when your students arrive on campus and I welcome you with great pleasure for the start of another exciting year of learning, achievement and reaching aspirations, however lofty.