December 17, 2012
On behalf of the entire William Paterson University community, I extend warm wishes for a wonderful holiday season. I hope you share in my pride for all that we accomplished on campus during 2012 and share in my eager expectations for all that we will achieve in 2013.
We are thankful to have weathered Hurricane Sandy. The University lost power for six days, and with the help, assistance, and service of many members of the University community we were able to provide outstanding care to the nearly 500 students who remained on campus. Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends, neighbors, and family members who have struggled with the impact of the storm. Our students have been involved in a variety of volunteer and fund-raising efforts for those in need. We have also established an emergency fund to help our students who have been impacted; thank you to all who have contributed to the fund.
We have exciting plans to follow last month’s statewide approval of the $750 million referendum for a general obligation bond to support construction and renovation projects at the state’s colleges and universities. This is the first such bond issue since 1988 and the funding, which is expected next year, brings great potential for William Paterson University and our sister institutions. We are very grateful to our alumni, friends, and members of the campus community who supported the referendum and helped produce a resounding victory. Our plan is to build a new academic building on the main campus to provide additional classroom space to serve thousands of students and to house expanding programs in nursing, public health, and communication disorders. The new academic building will then allow us to start the renovation of some of our older buildings in the main academic zone. We look forward to updating you on our progress.
Late last week we received great news. During a news conference in Trenton, Governor Chris Christie announced that William Paterson University is one of five New Jersey state colleges and universities selected to participate in the new Woodrow Wilson New Jersey Teaching Fellowship Program, which will recruit top science, technology, engineering, and math college graduates and career changers to prepare them to teach in high-need schools. The selection of our College of Education by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation to participate in this program is a significant recognition of the excellence of our teacher preparation programs.
During the past few months, our students and faculty continued to achieve greatness. For example, Professor Emmanuel Onaivi, biology, has been awarded a three-year, $350,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health for his ongoing research that seeks to provide a deeper insight into potential therapeutic drugs for pain, autoimmune, mental, and neurodegenerative disorders.
The University is celebrating two major milestones in the history of jazz education on campus during this academic year: the 40th anniversary of our internationally renowned Jazz Studies Program, and the 35th anniversary of its related Sunday afternoon performance series, The Jazz Room.
Our student-run campus radio station, WPSC 88.7 FM, held its second annual College Radio Day on October 2. The event, led by Professor Robert Quicke, communication, grew to include 585 college and high school radio stations in 29 countries and received a great deal of national and international publicity.
The Russ Berrie Institute for Professional Sales of the Cotsakos College of Business hosted its 6th Annual RBI National Sales Challenge last month. The event showcases the sales skills of our future sales leaders and connects them with top business executives. This year, the Sales Challenge hosted teams from 32 universities from 21 states, Scotland and the Netherlands. We are especially proud of University student Peter Malvasi who placed second overall in individual competition.
As we head to 2013, we look forward to your continued interest in and engagement with your alma mater. William Paterson University is an active and vibrant community, and I encourage you to visit campus to see for yourself. I hope to see you on campus in the coming months. I wish all of you a happy and healthy new year.
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