From the President

January, 2007

steenPSU Engaged—Our People, Our Stories

At a recent alumni gathering in Florida, I asked people to help me learn the history of Plymouth State University by telling me their stories. What the alumni recounted were wonderful memories of faculty, coaches, and staff members who were engaged with students, who inspired students to achieve, who cared when life was less than perfect, who continued to mentor students after graduation. One alumnus wrote afterward to ask that I relay his gratitude to my colleagues: “For all of us who came to Plymouth with so little, please remember to thank them for giving us so much. It’s the personal touch and relationships that make Plymouth such a special place.”

PSU is a special place. In the following pages, you will read about the University’s heritage of excellence and commitment to innovation and engagement, with that personal touch that alumni emphasize. A university is defined in part by its history over time, and you’ll learn about people from the 1880s and the 1920s and the 1950s and the 1970s and beyond, all of whom have helped to create the PSU community.

You’ll learn about today’s students, such as the four Hollings scholars who have been recognized for promise in oceanic and atmospheric studies; the composer who is being published while still an undergraduate; the language student who has been selected by the Spanish Ministry to teach in Andalusia; the men’s basketball team members who have been honored for outstanding sportsmanship; in ice hockey; the student who has raised money to buy tables for the community’s Meals for Many program; and the student formerly from Nigeria who is starting a foundation to improve education and health for those living in the Niger Delta region. PSU students are succeeding, with the help of faculty and staff mentors with whom students work side-by-side.

You’ll also learn about faculty and staff across the campus, who are actively engaged with their fields, with undergraduate and graduate students, and with the region, providing real-world solutions to real problems and contributing to our artistic and cultural resources. There are researchers who have received funding to study acid rain and surface water quality; scholars and artists who have received awards, published fine volumes of fiction and non-fiction, and released recordings; an anthropologist who is developing new opportunities for students in forensic studies; and a faculty member who heads a collaborative program to provide teaching certification for students in the North Country. A former student, now staff member has developed innovative software to make library holdings searchable on the Internet and transform libraries’ future roles; his work has been recognized with a Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration. Their energy and commitment is impressive, and these are examples of the people with whom our students have the opportunity to work.

You’ll learn about alumni, in whose diverse accomplishments we take pride, and about the vital support of parents, friends, alumni, and donors, who help to make our successes possible.

In the final analysis, education is about people—their work and their stories—and the editors of Plymouth Magazine can present only a small sample of the exciting achievements that could be showcased.

PSU this fall enrolled approximately 6,000 students, 4,200 residential undergraduates and 1,800 graduate students. The stories truly are many. After you have read and
enjoyed these glimpses of faculty, staff, student, and alumni accomplishments, we hope that you will want to visit our Web site for the most recent news (or for the Annual Report that this year will be provided exclusively online) or come to campus, join in our seminars and events, and meet our students, staff, and faculty. We welcome your participation.
Sara Jayne Steen, President

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