First, welcome back from Spring Break! I hope that the brief respite gave you a chance to catch your breath before the last push of the semester.
These two weeks have flown by. I have been on back-to-back trips to California and Arizona to meet with some of our alumni/ae. The high regard in which they hold the University and the warmth of their memories of UW-Superior are wonderful and inspirational. It is clear that we have a long history of providing an exceptional educational experience to students from all walks of life. I want to extend special thanks to Tom Bergh and Jeanne Thompson from our Advancement office for arranging the detail of these successful trips; to our alumni/ae who called their fellow alums; and to those like the Swensons, Lindhals, and Daigles who kindly opened up their homes for our visits.
We had a real treat in Arizona; we were able to catch our Yellowjacket baseball team in action as they trounced their opponents. This makes them undefeated so far this season! You should know that many of the parents in attendance remarked about how much their progeny has enjoyed being at UW-Superior. One parent said that, of his three children, the UW-Superior student was the only one who said he “loved the university.” I know that it takes an extremely dedicated faculty and staff across the University to produce those kinds of sentiments! Two players have been honored by the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for their efforts. Senior pitcher Ethan Branum (Nisswa, Minn./Brainerd) has been named WIAC Pitcher of the Week, while junior catcher Jeff Miller (Minneapolis, Minn./Washburn) has been named WIAC Player of the Week for the period ending March 25.
Tomorrow I am off to a momentous event – the signing of the NorthWERD cooperative agreement. Eight educational institutions in northwestern Wisconsin are joining together to form a regional consortium of educational partners called Northwest Wisconsin Educators for Regional Development, hence NorthWERD. The group has been developed to respond to the needs of regional developers and students, as well as to identify regional economic trends and opportunities for graduates as they choose a career path. NorthWERD partners will celebrate the group’s formation in a signing event at the Lac Courte Oreilles Community College in Hayward.
I will then head toward Wausau for another alumni/ae gathering.
On Friday, I will join several of your faculty colleagues at the Higher Learning Commission meeting in Chicago. The gathering will be valuable as we continue to prepare for our accreditation visit.
I tiptoed into the rehearsal of The Merry Widow, the opera which our students and music faculty will perform and which debuts on April 4. If the rehearsal was any indication, you’re in for a real treat!
Our emphasis on inclusive excellence continues. For Superior Stew, Swim Creative – the company which developed the marketing for the UnFair Campaign – talked to faculty, students, and staff about the development of the campaign and fielded questions which ranged from its genesis to impact and local and national reaction.
With regard to Executive Order #54, “train the trainer “development sessions called Keeping UW Communities Safe for Children will be held by UW System at several regional sites. We have gathered a first list of people who will attend one of these training sessions later in April.
Finally, but not leastly, come to the Yellowjacket Staff Social, Thursday, March 29, 2012, 4:30 p.m. at the Thirst Pagan – All faculty and staff welcome!! (This event is sponsored by the Alumni Association and Thirsty Pagan.)
With this warm, wacky weather, get out and walk the dog, take the kids on a bike ride, hit some links, anything to celebrate that we’ve almost made it through March with no more snow!