This week our students are finishing up finals and course projects for fall semester, faculty are busy grading, staff are hard at work wrapping up budgets and plans for the new year and soliciting final year gifts for the Annual Fund. For sure, it’s a busy time of year and the long holiday break will be a welcome one.
I am encouraged by the efforts of so many to increase our enrollment for spring semester. Applications are ahead of last year date-to-date and converting them to admits and enrollees is now the focus of our work. We are also contacting every currently enrolled student eligible to return for spring to make sure every effort has been made to retain them. As you work with current students, please remind them that the deadline for continuing student scholarships is January 30th.
While we’re still early in the process, early indicators for fall semester are also encouraging, with applications running ahead of last year date-to-date. The financial aid office is three months ahead of schedule, already sending out financial aid awards to 149 admitted students. I will send an update in January with applicant, admit, and deposit numbers.
Faculty Approve New Programs
The faculty approved two new academic majors that will launch next fall: sports management and outdoor education leadership. Both of these programs were part of the 5-pronged enrollment plan and will be forwarded to the Board of Trustees for final approval.
The comprehensive campaign is underway and our fundraising team has been hard at work bringing in new gifts to the college. We’ve raised $5.3M towards our $10M goal for the year. In the last few weeks alone, the fundraising team has brought in two $1M gifts. These gifts will be used to support student scholarships and the expansion of the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts, and will no doubt have an amazing impact on our campus.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
I’m excited to announce that we will hold a campus-wide Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Friday, January 20 from 2- 4:00 p.m. We will welcome students from South Salt Lake to our campus, working side-by-side on a variety of service projects. There will be stations set up for volunteers to put together hygiene supply kits for the Road Home, write letters with the Red Cross to our service men and women, and make blankets and treats for the Salt Lake County Animal Services. In addition, the students will have the opportunity to participate in a science project, physical activities, and games. Volunteers will be able to help out at as many or as few stations as they like.
This is a wonderful chance for our campus to come together, serve others, and reach out to students from underserved populations. I hope you’ll all make an effort to attend, whether you’re able to join us for the full event or just have time to drop by and cheer the students on, and I urge you to encourage others from your department to join you. Register for the day of service.
Condolences to the Richer Family
Our wonderful friend and colleague Al Richer passed away on November 24. Al received a bachelor’s degree from Westminster in 1982 and an honorary doctorate in 2015. Al was a Trustee of the college from 2001–2014. He and his wife Helene generously funded the Richer Commons and Richer Alcove, along with a scholarship for the Honors program. I was proud to represent the college at his memorial service last week.
Last week I attended the midnight breakfast and was amazed to see that over 600 students were there! It was wonderful to see such high attendance at one of our long-time campus traditions. I hope you all have the chance to celebrate some holiday traditions of your own during the winter break and look forward to seeing you all in the new year.