One Long Blue Line. You’ve probably heard me use that phrase a lot in the last year, and it’s the theme I chose for the formal inaugural ceremonies in February.
You’ll hear it a lot in the future as well. My first year here has confirmed for me that the phrase captures the heart of who we are as a university. It’s something you’ll read more about in this issue of Visions. Our inauguration story focuses on the accomplishments of our W family in the past year and looks ahead to some goals for the future.
After six separate sessions involving about 180 constituents of The W, Pensacola, Fla.-based idgroup reaffirmed for us all that there are common themes and dreams linking our past, our present and our future. Based on their findings, we are moving ahead with a branding program that gives consistency to our publications, our messages and our communications. I hope you’ve seen some of the results.
One of the core values of The W is creating opportunity for those who might not find success at other institutions. In this issue, you’ll read about the success of three of our first-generation students who are thriving in our small-family environment. I’m proud that our university is committed to serving deserving students who may face challenges.
I’m also proud that we continue to innovate as a university. You’ll read about two new academic programs that have great promise: our new doctorate of nursing practice and a new completely-online master’s degree in global commerce. Reaching place-bound students presents unique opportunities for us in the future.
We also feature a highly successful program that brings continued visibility to the good work The W is doing in the community and beyond. “Learning Matters,” which airs locally on our CBS affiliate, WCBI-TV, is the brainchild of Dr. Suzanne Bean of the Center for Creative Learning and is now beginning its third year.
In this issue we also say “well done” to a colleague at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science based on our campus. Charlie Brown has brought vision, humor and dedication to his role as executive director of the state’s high school for academically talented students. We wish him well in retirement.
Finally, we turn to a bit of uncovered history in a story about “The New Alma Mater.” Don’t miss it!
Spring is almost here on our beautiful campus, just in time for the April 18-21 activities for Homecoming. There’s even more planned for alums and their families this year, and we hope to see you here as “The Long Blue Line Comes Home.”
Dr. Jim Borsig