From the President

October, 2008
President Sara Jayne Steen

President Sara Jayne Steen

A Rich History of Excellence in Education

Over the summer, I took a few days off to relax, see friends, run errands, and enjoy New Hampshire and all it offers. Everywhere I went, people wanted to talk about the University, a daily occurrence that is a joy for me and offers a powerful external perspective on Plymouth State University—on what we do here and how much it does matter.

At a medical appointment, the practitioner said, “My goddaughter just graduated from PSU in health and human performance. She received a wonderful education and worked with great teachers and advisors.”

While visiting the Shaker Village in Canterbury, I spoke with a docent, an alumna who had been an art teacher. Her Plymouth State education, she said, had enabled her to have a career she had loved so much that to the day she retired she had felt almost guilty about taking a paycheck. I tell prospective students that I want them to have what few people in history have had, the chance to earn a living doing something they love every day—exactly what this alum’s degree in art education had given her, and was now giving her son.

At lunch with a friend, I was introduced to someone who exclaimed upon learning I am at Plymouth State, “I love that school! I was on campus a couple of weeks ago, and it looks fabulous!” And it does, because the people in the physical plant take seriously their commitment to making PSU a beautiful place to live and learn.

On a drive across the state, I stopped to watch a rainbow arching over an airport tarmac and struck up a conversation with a businessman who is an alum, as are other members of his family—and all of them proud of their educations. He spoke of the faculty members in the business department who have made a difference in his life.

Examples abound. People have attended meaningful conferences on campus, they have received an informative historic preservation newsletter, they have worked with graduate students doing important research on watershed planning, or their children enjoyed a creative and well planned summer camp. One alum called to ask if she could conduct a campus tour for her neighbor’s daughter, because she wanted the chance to show a promising young woman the people and places that had meant so much to her.

What makes PSU so strong? The people—authentic, energetic, and engaged.

As you read the articles that follow in this issue of Plymouth Magazine, think of the many faculty and staff members who have committed, and are committing, their lives to advancing education and contributing to our regional mission, one student—one life—at a time.

Sara Jayne Steen, President

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