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September 14, 2012

Fall 2012: residence record, amazing alumni

Resident halls set a record, young UW-Superior alumni live up to their alma mater's name and the campus zeroes in on the new R&R (recruitment and retention).

Dear Colleagues,

Barring a few technology bumps, we opened the semester with full residence halls and, judging by the WoW activities, an energetic freshman class.

I would like to recognize the Residence Hall staff for welcoming in a record setting 851 students into the residence halls.From booking rooms, checking in on new freshmen, and assisting with the construction of bunk beds, this was no small feat!  

It is exciting to watch what our alumni do post-UW Superior and I'm very pleased to congratulate seven alumni of our undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs on receiving the Duluth News Tribune's 20 under 40 Award. Each year the newspaper recognizes 20 people under age 40 who are leaders in their work, community, and local organizations.  In that mix of recipients was our very own Jenice Meyer whose work in fostering community connections was celebrated at the awards ceremony last night.  She was recognized also in the special insert in the Thursday edition of the Duluth News Tribune. Congratulations!

With the start of the academic year comes the opening of the season for Yellowjacket sports teams.  The volleyball team is off to a great start, currently sitting at 8-1 and claiming first place honors at the Mount Mary College tournament.  They will open conference play on September 21.  The men's and women's soccer teams have each had a flair for the dramatic, with several games early on heading into overtime.  The cross country team will get their 2012 season off and running on Saturday when they compete in the St. Olaf Invitational.  I encourage you to come out and see our student-athletes in action!  Good luck Yellowjackets!

The tragedy in Libya and the events in Egypt have our attention as a nation.  Please keep in mind that these events might affect our international students with anything from verbal slurs, fears for their own physical safety, or concerns about family members at home.  A colleague remarked "as a campus community, it's our obligation to keep them safe and help them feel welcome as trouble makers seek to foment trouble between nations and religious groups." A group of faculty and staff met yesterday afternoon to continue the dialogue on how to best address these issues as we promote tolerance and respect for diversity on our campus.

The efforts with regard to recruitment and retention are moving forward: 

  • A resource center to help non-traditional students and military veterans successfully navigate their way through college celebrated their grand opening.  The Veteran and Nontraditional Student Center in Old Main, room 118, provides a single location where students over age 24 and veterans can learn about benefits and support, and receive assistance in accessing services such as tutoring and financial aid. The center's goal is to ease the students' transition to university life and to help them to complete their degrees.
  • The McNair Scholars program at UW-Superior that prepares under-represented students to pursue advanced education was one of 134 McNair programs nationwide to recently receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Funding this year was highly competitive, with more than 50 existing programs not being renewed.
  • The streamlining of committees and efforts related to recruitment, advising, and retention continues.

Kelsey Olin, whom you met at the campus opening, will work for the Office of Admissions out of the Twin Cities and focus full time on cultivating relationships in that market.

We received a $350,000 estate gift from a friend of the University to be used to endow a scholarship with the sole criteria that the student be a major in teacher education. Also endowed was a scholarship at Superior High School for the same amount to be awarded to students who plan to major in teacher education and who go on to enroll at UW-Superior.  

Next week the Advancement Vice Chancellor Jeanne Thompson, Alumni Director Tom Bergh, and I will be traveling to Washington D.C. to meet with alumni in the area and to visit our representatives and congressmen on Capitol Hill. 

In the meantime, get out there and enjoy the wonderful transition from summer to fall!



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