The fall has been a particularly busy and rewarding time on campus, as you'll learn from this issue of Visions.
In October, we marked the 25th anniversary of the Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium, which began in 1989. Dr. Tom Richardson, Dr. Bridget Pieschel, Dr. Ginger Hitt, and, more recently, Dr. Kendall Dunkelberg, have been instrumental in the success and continuing quality of this signature event for The W. Their efforts have been richly rewarded, as emerging voices of Southern literature have been eager to participate and often return. For the 2013 Symposium, Ellen Gilchrist returned to provide the keynote address and discuss her many works, including "The Writing Life."
We're pleased that one of the writers represented in this year's Symposium was The W's own Michael Farris Smith, whose work you will see featured in this issue. His first novel, "Rivers," published by Simon & Schuster, was released in September. The W was proud to partner with Catfish Alley magazine, The Columbus Arts Council, The Friends of the Library and the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library to host the official book launch here on our campus. "Rivers" is getting outstanding reviews, and Dr. Smith, currently on sabbatical, is busy making appearances around the South. I encourage you to read his fine novel.
In this issue, we also take a look at some of the remarkable work our students are doing. A feature on student internships gives a sense of the wide-ranging interests and accomplishments of students who pursued off-campus internships in subjects as diverse as history, microbiology and theater. Those students who seek opportunities such as these say they are encouraged to continue their studies and to develop even deeper knowledge of their subjects.
You'll also see two sides of history in the current issue. A new concentration in public history will be the only such undergraduate degree in Mississippi and will provide our students a pathway to careers such as archival management, historic preservation and museum and national park exhibit curation. It is equipping students with skills that can be used in public service as professional historians. And we'll take you back in time to 1913, where you'll get a glimpse of campus through the photos of the 1913 SGA president and see history at work in The W Archives.
Finally, this issue features a list of those students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends who have made financial contributions to The W over the last year. Your support is vital to the continued progress of The W. On behalf of all of The W family, I extend my thanks for your investment in the mission and the future of this wonderful institution.
Dr. Jim Borsig