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Dear Alumni and Friends - A letter from President Horvath

As the snow settles on the start of 2015 in Fredonia, we are reminded of all the ways that our university makes a difference in the lives of so many students and in the communities we serve.

Most notably, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has just designated Fredonia to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. This 10-year classification recognizes institutions that demonstrate strong community engagement in their mission, academics, service and priorities. Achieving this recognition has been a goal in the Power of Fredonia strategic plan, and we were very pleased to be successful in our first application. Fredonia was also recently recognized with distinction on the President’s Honor Roll for Community Service.

In December, Dr. Horvath was fortunate to be invited to the White House for the College Opportunity Day of Action. At this summit with education leaders from across the country, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan engaged participants in discussions about ways to improve students’ access to college and completion of degrees once they get there. In an increasingly diverse population, with great economic disparity, college remains an important way to create opportunities for social advancement and full participation in a democratic society. This is certainly what we see at Fredonia with current students and what alumni successes demonstrate every day. We continue to value such programs as EDP (highlighted in this issue) which challenge and support students as they enter the unfamiliar territory of college. This remains an essential part of public higher education, at the center of Fredonia’s mission. In addition to the value of scholarships and endowments that support programs and individuals, student success depends in part on creating a welcoming environment, one that values individuals and their diverse cultural identities and encourages all to do their best.

The new Science Center has already hosted a number of events that invite elementary, middle and high school students to engage in hands-on learning in this dynamic space. The facility is providing not only quality research opportunities for talented science faculty and university students, but exciting opportunities for young learners to see themselves as scientists. Fourth graders recently visiting from Buffalo City Schools asked Fredonia faculty what they need to do to study here: although at the beginning of the day just a few raised their hands when asked whether they were going to go to college, by the end of the workshops, all were eager to enroll right away! This is the long-term impact of such facilities as the Science Center: Fredonia students are getting into medical and dental school, into graduate programs, and into the companies where they hope to work. They are thrilled to be working on research with faculty and to be studying in the state-of-the-art classrooms. And the next generations are thinking that studying a STEM field is not only cool but possible for them.

Construction on the Rockefeller Arts Center addition continues and is expected to be completed in 2016, as you can read on the facing page. The new dance studios, visual arts studios, theatre work areas, and community room will make our long-standing commitments to visual and performing arts even more visible. Like the Science Center, it will invite current Fredonia students, prospective students, and members of the community to engage with the arts — as performers, audience members, and makers of art. Also like the Science Center, there are many ways in which alumni, faculty and other friends of the campus can, through their generosity, make a lasting impact on generations of future Fredonians.

We hope you will have a chance to visit soon — either in person or virtually through www.fredonia.edu.

 
Sincerely,
Dr. Virginia S. Horvath   Dr. David Fountaine, ’79, ’89
President, Fredonia       President, Fredonia Alumni Association

 

posted @ Wednesday, January 21, 2015 3:51 PM by Kara Murray

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