The Alumni Board kicked off a beautiful Fall weekend on campus with a discussion of a topic of interest to all Wooster alumni: our desire to assist students as they consider further education or career choices. By having a strong Wooster alumni network, we can help students as they enter the professional world. The Alumni Board also discussed ways to increase both alumni engagement with the college and consistent participation in giving to The Wooster Fund. This past year 5,500 out of 19,000 alumni made a gift to The Wooster Fund, and that matters to us; it’s a place to start, but not where we want to be, as this one indicator likely falls short of the passion for and commitment to the College that many more than 5,500 alumni have for their alma mater.
The Board heard from Alison Schmidt, Associate Dean of Academic Advising, about APEX, a distinctive program that integrates academic and post-graduate advising, planning, and experiential learning. APEX is housed newly renovated space in Gault Library and was created to foster collaboration among academic advising, career planning, experiential learning and the learning center. To learn more about what APEX is all about and how it is benefitting today’s students, please visit this web page: http://www.wooster.edu/academics/apex
The Board also heard about our great strides in Admissions. With the increase in applications, Wooster can be more selective than ever. As a result, the incoming class is one of the strongest classes academically that we have had in years. Almost half were ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class and one in four is either a U.S. multiethnic or international student.
Board members next did what we love to do – and that is to meet with and engage with students at the College. We had several opportunities to meet with students and discuss with them their experiences on campus and off. We met with the student leaders of the Inter-Greek Council (IGC) and learned about the important role that Wooster’s Greek system plays on campus, as well as the work of the council itself. Leaders of the IGC stressed to us that they and their members are service-driven. Did you know all Greek students are required to participate in at least one organization or sport other than their Greek group? In addition, each active charter must perform community service every semester.
During the course of our meetings, we had the opportunity to meet with faculty. In addition to Kent Kille and John Gabrielle who are faculty representatives to the Alumni Board, we honored newly tenured faculty at a special dinner. We learned about some cutting-edge and vital research and teaching being done by the faculty at our College. Our alma mater distinguishes itself in its commitment to faculty teaching and research and in the quality of the professors we hire. The newly tenured faculty reflects that tradition. They are core to our mission, and are crucial to our striving for excellence at the College.
We closed out our work at Wooster with a bit of fun: a nail-biter of a football game against the Kenyon Lords…and a heart-breaking loss in the final seconds of the game. But we relished our time with Fighting Scots spirit and not only remain undeterred about the season, but most certainly enthusiastic about the direction and future of the College.
Before I close, I want to return to the ideas presented in the first paragraph of this blog. I want us to work together to strengthen our Alumni Network. I ask that you continue to engage with the College and its students. Think about ways we all can help current Wooster students and recent grads connect with the world outside of college. Send me your ideas – your Alumni Board wants to hear from you. Also, as we head into the holiday season and toward the start of another year, please make a contribution to the Wooster Fund. You can do it on-line through Wooster’s secure site. It is important – yet easy. Please visit: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1090/NoRtCol.aspx?sid=1090&gid=1&pgid=2521&cid=3459
I wish for all of you a wonderful holiday and a joyous New Year ahead!
David Gilliss (’80)