Message From the President

June, 2009
Sara Jayne Steen, President.  John Hession photo.

Sara Jayne Steen, President. John Hession photo.

When I speak about activities and achievements at PSU, I often begin with our mission and size: “Plymouth State University is a regional comprehensive university of 7,000 students: 3,000 graduate students and 4,000 undergraduates.” Then I explain what a regional comprehensive university is and how PSU lives its mission.

Plymouth State is a lively university with both liberal arts and professional programs across a range of fields. Our programs are characterized by first-rate teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, informed by dynamic research, scholarship, and creativity. PSU features engaged hands-on learning; faculty mentors work closely with students and actively seek opportunities for students to participate in research with community partners.

PSU’s motto — Ut prosim, That I may serve — is evidenced through engagement with and support of the region. We are a university of place, offering arts and cultural outreach, and real-world solutions to real problems across New Hampshire and the northern tier. We are higher education working on the ground.

PSU students, staff, and faculty are making a difference locally, regionally, nationally, and, increasingly, around the globe. In February, PSU was named to the national President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, one of only 83 colleges and universities across the country so designated for service and civic engagement. The Pakistani Educational Leadership Institute and its alumni are regularly honored in the United States and in Pakistan.

Our feature stories in this issue of Plymouth Magazine demonstrate the integration of teaching and learning, creativity and discovery, and engagement. Teaching and learning do not occur solely in the classroom, nor is research confined only to the archives or the lab.

The Center for Rural Partnerships, for example, has worked with the Alton Historical Society, which has offered internships to students and provided research opportunities for a graduate student in Heritage Studies. A public/private partnership bringing orchestral music to the North Country involves PSU faculty, a graduate student in music education, and numerous elementary and high school educators. Students in an undergraduate tourism management class are developing plans for North Country businesses. And the newly formed Northern Forest Higher Education Resource Network will connect institutions of higher education so that they collaborate on learning and research across the region.

What you see in this one example is clear in other pieces in this issue, and that level of excellence occurs in fields across the campus, whether in arts, humanities, social sciences, education, or business. What you see is a vital and vibrant regional comprehensive university — Plymouth State University.

Sara Jayne Steen, President

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