Message from Chancellor Shirley Lawler to Faculty and Staff
Welcome to August!
I hope that everyone has had a good summer and an opportunity to enjoy some downtime. It’s hard to believe that we will all be back in the swing of things in a couple of weeks.
I had the privilege of addressing the Summer Scholars Academy on Thursday as they wrapped up four days packed full of wonderful activities. The group of 28 students, sixth through eighth graders, seemed excited and energized as they were finishing up their sessions on campus. Our team had some amazing activities planned for them during the week, including a unit that involved the study of the history of the U.S. space program. As Cathy Boys explained, “We had a rocket theme for the Summer Scholars Academy Engineering class, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. Students learned about the history of the U.S. space program and the importance of engineers to its success. Students applied engineering design principles to build and test a simple straw rocket. We ended the class with a special guest speaker, (via Zoom). Lori Crocker, Aerospace Engineer in the NASA EVA Office, Johnson Space Center, Houston Texas, spoke about extravehicular activity (EVA) and space walks, the Apollo moon walk in particular. She also discussed opportunities and challenges involved with sending astronauts back to the moon and to Mars.” What an amazing week for these middle school students! A big thank you to Jacob Poulette, Jerry Trick, Cathy Boys and many other faculty and staff members who made this week a tremendous success.
As you can see, the amphitheater is basically completed, and we are excited about our first events at the site. It’s a beautiful addition to the campus. We are planning an inaugural event to take place early in the fall semester. We already have had some community members reserve the venue for events, as well. If you have some ideas or suggestions for something that you would like to see take place at the amphitheater, please send us an email. We look forward to some entertaining and informative events at the amphitheater in the coming year.
As always, we are focused on recruitment for the fall semester, and as I write this, we are down 8 percent in total credit hours; however, we still have two weeks to recruit students for the coming academic year. Hopefully, we will be able to stabilize our enrollment as we near Aug. 19. We have a dedicated team in place working very hard to recruit students from the region and beyond.
As we draw closer to the first day of class, we begin to see more students and faculty on campus. The Grizzly Volleyball team returned last week, and that’s the first sign the new year is about to begin. Don’t forget about the many activities we have coming up including…
- Move-in Weekend and Welcome Week are great opportunities to connect with students and welcome them to campus.
- The Grizzly Booster Club Annual Picnic is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, in the West Plains Civic Center Exhibit Hall. Everyone is invited to join us at the picnic to celebrate the new athletic season. At 6:30 p.m., the Lady Grizzlies will take the court for their first home game of the season.
- Mark your calendar for Sept. 19. The State of the University Address will take place at 3 p.m. in M112 and the Faculty and Staff Picnic will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Richards House.
Always remember, what you do each day for students does make a difference.