President's Office

Salem State University's President, Patricia Maguire Meservey

University goals for 2015-2016

We are nearing the end of fall semester and it’s already been a remarkable year. We’ve opened a new residence hall and parking garage to assist those who choose to live on campus and those who don’t. We’ve expanded our academics with new program offerings and our athletic teams with the launch of our new women’s hockey program. Our students are winning awards at home, and traveling the world. Our faculty continue to garner recognition for outstanding scholarship and teaching. I’m happy to share with you a few highlights from the past few months.

On campus

Academically, I am delighted to announce that the university has added to its already impressive liberal arts offerings with a new major in dance. The bachelor’s degree program launched this fall, and is now part of a new department of music and dance.

By allying these two artistic and performance majors under one umbrella, we can now provide a solid foundation in each of the two disciplines while concomitantly creating an educational environment that fosters critical thinking, collaborative scholarship and artistic creativity.

Jack Welch Scholar named

I am pleased to announce that Salem High School graduate Patrick Luddy began his freshman year at Salem State University recently as a Jack Welch Scholar. The coveted designation provides the Salem resident with full tuition for four years, and is the result of a $1 million gift made to the university in 2005 by former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, a Salem native, and his wife Suzy. Patrick already has an easy familiarity with the campus, which isn’t surprising considering his lineage. Both grandparents—retired Salem State English and theatre professor Tom Luddy and longtime staff member Eileen Luddy—have been fixtures on campus for many years.

Our students continue to explore horizons both near and far

On July 16, thanks to a generous grant from The Cummings Foundation to Salem State’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, seven undergraduate and three graduate students departed for Rwanda with social work professor Rob McAndrews, an authority on the Rwandan genocide. The students were intentionally chosen to represent a diversity of academic and career interests, including elementary education, peace and conflict studies, sociology, political science, and business administration.

Staying on the campus of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) in Rwanda, the students, among other things, participated in work, educational and medical projects.

Closer to home, our history department hosted a one-week summer maritime archaeology field school this summer. Students from Salem State and elsewhere learn how to survey, map and record shipwrecks of the North Shore.  Working on the partially exposed shipwreck of the Ada K. Damon, sunk in a 1909 Christmas storm and buried on Steep Hill Beach on the Crane Estate in Ipswich, students drew up their observations and measurements so that a full picture of the ship can be compiled on graph paper and put into public records. 

Recognizing our faculty and staff

On October 14, Salem State University recognized 116 of its members who reached employment milestones this year in increments that ranged from five years of service to 50 years. Collectively, they represent 1,585 years of employment.

Donna Beaulieu (business and finance), Paul James (instructional media specialist) and Kenneth St. Pierre (facilities) of Beverly; Kenneth Guillen (facilities) of Salem; Marie Jensen (School of Nursing professor) of Andover; and Stephen Pew (librarian) of Lynn were each thanked for 35 years of service. 

Special recognition and appreciation was reserved for Merrimac resident Robert Lasota, professor of history, for his 50 years of service to the university and its students. 

Campus facilities

On September 16, our newest Central Campus residence facility, Viking Hall, was dedicated. Opening in time for the fall semester, it houses 350 sophomores and juniors in singles and doubles set up as suites, as well as a faculty-member-in-residence who coordinates academic-themed programs and works with the living/learning community. The entire campus is enjoying the Starbucks café on the first floor!

Work is continuing on the renovation and modernization of our Mainstage Theatre. When it is completed in fall 2016, it will open as the Sophia Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts. The new facility will provide a 470-seat contemporary theater facility for faculty, student and guest performances, and will be available for the use of the regional community. Like you, I look forward to the new opportunities this center will provide us.

On November 16, we opened a wonderful new garage for commuter students. Its addition to our campus will enable us now to alleviate many of the parking issues that have confronted those who travel to campus from beyond Salem.

Please visit us on campus

If you or someone you know is thinking of applying to Salem State or transferring from another institution, may we suggest you consider visiting the campus at some point over the next few months? It’s a wonderful opportunity to tour our campus, learn about the academic and extracurricular programs available and explore historic Salem and surrounding sites with your families.

Campus tours are offered Monday through Friday at 11 am and 2 pm through December 11. All tours are led by student ambassadors, who will answer your questions about what it’s like to be a student at Salem State University. Tours leave from the admissions office, located in the Enterprise Center on Central Campus, 71 Loring Avenue.

You may also wish to attend our first winter open house on Sunday, January 24, 2016. Please click here to register.

Patricia Maguire Meservey