Walking across campus today, I was energized by all that I saw and felt. There is something about autumn that is invigorating, and I see it in our students scurrying to class, playing Frisbee on the lawn and studying—and laughing—in small groups within our magnificent new library. I am also energized by the many changes taking place on our campus; changes that will impact our students’ educations and our university’s role in the growth of our region in so many positive ways. We are beginning 2013-2014 on a solid foundation of accomplishment, including the opening of two major new facilities, the development of a new and more relevant core curriculum, and the unveiling of a new vision and strategic plan that will chart our course into the future.
Salem State’s new core (general education) curriculum, the result of several years of dedicated work by many on our campus, will be implemented in fall 2014, and will change the way students experience our university. It will strengthen their liberal arts experience while giving them greater flexibility in choosing their paths through school, and will directly impact their ability to graduate in four years.
Our recently completed strategic plan, which dovetails with the Department of Higher Education’s Vision Project will guide us through the next three years, and chart our course as we work toward achieving its four major goals:
- Providing distinguished academic programs and innovative educational experiences for our students
- Advancing students’ intellectual, personal and professional growth
- Promoting civic engagement, social justice and connection to place
- Positioning the university to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future
In September, just in time for the return of students, we opened our new and much anticipated Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons to rave reviews, and by November our new, state-of-the-art Harold E. and Marilyn J. Gassett Fitness and Recreation Center will have its grand opening and dedication. The light and airy interior and high-tech capabilities of the library provide a welcoming environment for members of the campus community as well as the public, and I expect both new facilities to be popular gathering places for students and staff. Pending board of trustee approval, we plan to move forward with four additional projects, which include the construction of a new residence hall and the building of a parking garage. Additionally, we plan to create a one-stop student support center that will provide a single location for students to go to for all their non-academic needs, and completely renovate and modernize the Mainstage Theatre to create the Sophia Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts.
Please visit us on campus
For those thinking of applying to Salem State or transferring in from another institution, may we suggest you consider visiting the campus at some point in the near future? It’s a wonderful opportunity to tour our five campuses, learn about the academic and extracurricular programs available and explore historic Salem and surrounding sites with your families.
Fall campus tours are offered Monday through Friday, at 11 am and 2 pm, through December 6. Tours will not be offered on Monday, October 14 (Columbus Day), Monday, November 11 (Veteran's Day) or during our Thanksgiving break from November 27–29. All tours are led by student ambassadors, who will answer all your questions about what it’s like to be a student at Salem State University.
Patricia Maguire Meservey