Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Collection of great news kicks off spring semester 2014

The third week of January has arrived — and a new semester begins! Before we become immersed in our work once more, I wanted to be sure to point out some of the important Blugold achievements celebrated in recent weeks while many of you enjoyed well-deserved downtime during the winter break:
  • The UW-Eau Claire Foundation announced it has acquired an amazing collection of Robert Frost materials that now are housed in McIntyre Library’s Special Collections and Archives department. Acquired from Joan Christopherson Schmidt of Milwaukee, the collection is believed to be one of the most extensive Frost collections maintained outside of academia. What an honor for UW-Eau Claire to have this impressive collection on our campus to share the work of Frost with students, our faculty and staff, the community and visiting scholars for years to come. Learn more about the Frost collection.
  • More than 150 faculty and staff `have moved into their new digs in Centennial Hall, which opens for classes today. Many thanks to all our Facilities Management and Learning and Technology Services staff who worked long hours assisting with the move-in by ensuring the building’s office and classroom spaces are ready for great teaching and learning to begin. A formal dedication of Centennial Hall — our first new academic building in 30 years! — is planned for Feb. 5; watch for details on the university website.
  • Congratulations to UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff in our College of Business on the UW MBA Consortium’s ranking by U.S. News & World Report as the top program among Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Iowa universities, both public and private. What exciting recognition for this program that provides advanced degrees to business professionals who in turn lead companies across our state and nation! Learn more about the consortium’s recent top ranking.
  • A report released last week by The Education Trust included UW-Eau Claire as one of eight U.S. universities that have increased graduation rates for low-income students and students of color. Congratulations to our many faculty and staff who continue the important work of improving our student success rates and for this recognition in The Education Trust’s widely read report. Watch for the release of our own story about their work in the coming days.
  • Many thanks go to Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, professor of history, for her coordination again this year of the Martin Luther King Jr. remembrance event in Eau Claire. UW-Eau Claire has been a co-sponsor of this wonderful event for 32 years. Thanks as well to the faculty and staff, students, area clergy, community members and area schoolchildren who participated in last evening's event of remembrance, music and reflection on the words and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. It was a celebration of how far we have come and a reminder that by working together we can achieve Dr. King's dream. I was honored to give closing remarks at the event. Read today's Eau Claire Leader-Telegram coverage of the ceremony.
  • Our Blugold athletics teams continue to rack up successes as well. Among the highlights: The men’s hockey team’s NCAA record-tying win on Jan. 18 against St. Thomas. The Blugolds’ 2-0 shutout against the Tommies was their fifth straight, tying the NCAA men's hockey shutout record across all divisions. They’ll have a chance to break the record this Friday, Jan. 24, when they play UW-River Falls here at home. Plan now to attend and cheer them on. Go Blugolds!
  • Our music students are in the middle of another outstanding run of Cabaret, a delightful annual variety show production put on entirely by our students. If you haven’t yet caught the show —an annual tradition now in its 36th year — plan to attend one of their remaining performances this Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 23-25. I’m told tickets are going fast!
These, of course, are just a few of the exciting recent Blugold stories. Keep an eye on our website as the stories of our faculty, staff, student and alumni successes continue to unfold. Here’s to another great semester at UW-Eau Claire!