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Welcome to the Spring/Summer issue of Plymouth Magazine, an issue that provides an introduction to today’s Plymouth State in demonstrating our place in the world and the degree to which the world becomes smaller through PSU’s work. Through the features on technology, wind energy, and an artful donor, for example, you can see how PSU is globally connected, how lines from all over the map are drawn to Plymouth.
Faculty members at PSU are deeply involved with technology that serves student learning and extends the academic program worldwide. Even a decade ago, PSU was creating graduate coursework online, and this year the online MBA was rated by geteducated.com as among the top 20 programs in the nation. Four undergraduate programs are offered fully online. PSU faculty members guide student learning from Romania and Shanghai to Chile and Antigua. In addition to extending access to a PSU education, technology allows residential students to work while taking classes, to graduate more quickly, and to collaborate with colleagues around the world, maintaining the wider PSU cross-cultural community. International students also join us on the physical campus, both in Plymouth and in Concord, where faculty members provide vibrant and collaborative hands-on learning. The value-added residential experience includes athletics, clubs, internships, and opportunities for service and engagement that mean that students are especially well prepared to begin productive careers.
As shown here, PSU is playing a role in the conversation about wind turbines, a worldwide debate, as well as sustainability, another global conversation. The experience of two young men separated by a world war and their committed friendship across countries and decades led to a recent gift of drawings by Spanish painter Francisco de Goya Lucientes and a collaboration that both inspires students and celebrates two gifted professors.
Commencement this year was equally international. Students were worldwide, families unable to travel viewed the exercises via livestream, and the charge to the graduates was given by the recipient of an honorary doctorate, Richard H. Solomon, the former president of the US Institute of Peace and one of the major figures in international conflict management over the past several decades, participating in peace agreements across the globe.
I close with a more local moment, but one that crosses time. This year is the 250th anniversary of the town of Plymouth. It is being celebrated through the year with wonderful events planned for the weekend of 20–21 July, to which you are invited. The year began with a beautiful community production of an original musical, Marking the Moment, written by PSU faculty member Trish Lindberg and professor emeritus Manuel Marquez-Sterling, with music by New Hampshire composer Will Ogmundsen. The play treats Plymouth from its founding, through the Civil War and the Underground Railroad, to Babe Ruth and the present time. This, too, marks Plymouth State as a university of place, at home and across the globe.