December 6, 2012
As we approach the new year at Eastern, we celebrate our history of 163 years of providing accessible, affordable education and embrace our future as a great public university that provides Michigan citizens a path to success. In a time of decline in Michigan's population and the number of students eligible to enroll in college, Eastern is growing strong. This fall, we welcomed 5,076 students which is our largest undergraduate class in 163 years. We are hard at work on building the Fall 2013 class and applications are up over 30 percent from last year. The Fall 2012 class was smarter, more diverse, included more students in the Honors College, and more living on campus; it represented 81 of 83 Michigan counties, 43 of 50 states, and 79 countries. The momentum, pride, fun and happiness on campus is tangible and real.
We launched an undergraduate admission notification process where freshman students are welcomed with an individualized congratulations letter and Welcome to Eastern package. The package is tailored to the student's area of interest with a welcome from the college they are intending to pursue as well as estimated financial aid and affordability options. I see in my green crystal ball bigger and bigger incoming classes each fall as this community of faculty, staff and students tell the wonderful story of Eastern.
This momentum translates into a campus community that somehow gets through difficult issues, controversy, budget challenges, and yet stays the course to continue to strengthen Eastern as a university that is welcoming, with a wonderful undergraduate experience. You can start as a freshman and present a paper in the oldest Undergraduate Symposium in the country. You can study science in our new science complex. You can find your heart in over 300 student organizations. You can live on campus in a safe environment where college is everything you dreamed about.
Today and tomorrow, providing a quality education for our preschool-12th grade children has never been more challenging. The Ypsilanti-Willow Run school district is embarking on an historic consolidation effort. We understand that this is made even more challenging by our announcement in late October to authorize a new charter school in Willow Run. Eastern Michigan has long had strong partnerships with both districts. I want to reaffirm our commitment to those partnerships. Given the unique circumstances and challenges presented by the consolidation, I have instructed our teams to look at ways we can further support the merged district, with the ultimate goal of helping our community provide better educational outcomes for our children.
I welcome Stephanie Robinson, our new Director of Benefits Programs in Human Resources.
I thank Regents Roy Wilbanks and Tom Sidlik for their service and commitment to Eastern as both Board members and Chairs of the Board. Together, they led the Board and University through challenging and trying times of transition. I welcome our new Regents, Mary Treder Lang and Jim Webb.
Additional awards and other accomplishments are listed in the Appendix to this Report, on the University's website. Thank you, Chairman Wilbanks.
Gifts & Grants