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President's Blog (Lowen)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Greetings on a cold Thursday.

The entire campus is buzzing about the selection of Dr. Matthew Thompson as our new President.    We are excited that he will be here in February for our Board meeting, and will then begin his Presidency on April 15th.   The news about his hiring has traveled the country, so we are getting a lot of positive press right now.   At the Salina Rotary Club meeting this past week, President Ed Leonard from Bethany College presented the program, and made reference to our new President, indicating that he knew him personally from his days as a fundraiser, and noted that he has an excellent reputation.   We owe a debt of gratitude to the search committee, which included Julie Croll as the student representative, Wayne Schneider as the staff representative, and Dr.  Paul Hedlund as the faculty representative.

The campus community received sad news last week.  Dr. Janet Juhnke (former KWU English Professor and Academic Dean) lost her battle with cancer and passed away on January 23.   Her funeral service will be held next week -  11:00 AM at University UMC on Tuesday, February 5.   Please keep Dr. Juhnke’s family in your prayers.

The Media Reflections Symposium this week that was sponsored by our Communications Department and the Fine Arts Division  was really excellent, and brought in a large crowd, as well as more very positive press.  Dr. Jack Levin, Professor at Northeastern University, was the first researcher to investigate mass murders and serial killings, and gave an interesting analysis, including thoughts on the proper role of media in reporting those crimes.  Larry Hatteberg on Tuesday night described the role that KAKE TV in Wichita had in communication with and the eventual capture of the BTK murderer who killed 10 people in the Wichita area.    Wednesday night, our drama department presented a reprise of the Laramie Project, Ten Years Later.

How about those Kansas Wesleyan runners.  The Indoor track team made us very proud at the Kansas Jayhawk Classic in Lawrence.   The team is leading the conference in a number of distance events.   While I won’t mention them all, I was really impressed with the mile times of 4:38 for Hunter Stayton and 5:41 for Hillary Callaway.  Congratulations also to their fearless coach, Brent Bailey,  who has really done an excellent job of building the cross country and track teams, and plans more growth in the future.

The Opera is coming…..the Opera is coming.    Many of our students have never had the opportunity to attend a live opera performance, so next weekend will be a great opportunity for them (as well as our faculty and staff) to attend, and to expand your horizons.  This will be a fully staged performance, with a live orchestra and a chorus.   Kansas Wesleyan University is VERY involved with this opera.   The chorus is made up entirely of Kansas Wesleyan students,  while Ken Hakoda is directing the orchestra, which includes two of our students.   Five of our adjunct professors and one alumna from last year are playing in the orchestra, while Judy Weber, our accompanist, is also the accompanist for the Opera.   SPECIAL DEAL:   To encourage our students to experience a live opera, and in recognition of our special relationship with the Stiefel Theatre, they are making seats available to students for the special price of only $10.  Tickets have been brought to the Student Development office, and can be purchased from Kim Fox beginning tomorrow.

I have really enjoyed watching our basketball teams play this year.  Both teams have shown remarkable spirit, hustle, and determination.  The men’s team was ranked last in the conference in pre-season rankings, and have surprised a few teams, while battling top rated teams to some very close losses, including #21st nationally ranked St Mary’s last Saturday night, losing by only four points.  The women’s team won against St. Mary’s and is now ranked 4th in the Conference.  As a result of those games against St. Mary’s, KWU had both the men’s (Canon Fields) and Women’s (Vanessa Kresin) Players of the Week this past week.  Both teams play tonight against very tough Friends University teams in Wichita, and then return to home games on Saturday against Bethel.

Our highly successful forensics and debate teams are hosting the BORDER WARS  Debate and Forensics Tournament this weekend.   They still are in need of judges, so faculty and staff if you have some spare time this weekend, try a new experience and volunteer to be a judge.

KWU student athletes will be honored at half-time of the next several basketball games, starting this Saturday.  The women’s soccer team will be recognized for a host of academic and athletic honors at half-time of the women’s game, and the men’s soccer team will have corresponding honors awarded at the half-time of the men’s game.  We will also be celebrating our special relationship with Heusner Elementary school on Saturday night.  Please come out and support not only our basketball teams, but our other athletes who are being recognized.

NEW ADS for Kansas Wesleyan will start airing on television and radio next week.   Look for these ads,  which were the result of our marketing consultations with New Boston group.



Welcome back to the Kansas Wesleyan campus, and a special welcome to our 35 or so new students who have joined the Wesleyan family.   I hope you had a very enjoyable holiday season, and are back refreshed, and ready to go for the Spring semester.

Thanks to both the men’s and women’s basketball team this week for GIVING ME A HEART ATTACK!!!     Seriously, both games against Bethany on Saturday night were thrillers, and were fun to watch.  Although I love overtime wins as much as anyone, it was somewhat a relief not to have either game go that route.   It was also exciting to see such a large crowd out to cheer on our teams.  

The first of our three finalists for the position of President of Kansas Wesleyan University visited campus last week.   Dr.  Brian McGee had an exhausting round of meetings with students, staff, administrators, faculty, and Trustees, as well as alumni and community.    Thanks for those of you who participated in those forums and receptions.  The final two candidates will be on campus this week.   Dr. Roger Drake will arrive tonight, and will be on campus all day tomorrow, while Dr. Matthew Thompson will arrive Thursday night, and will be on campus all day on Friday.   Please assist the search team by completing the on-line surveys that were sent to you to evaluate each candidate.

Please remember that next Monday, January 21st, is a Federal holiday, as we remember Dr. Martin Luther King.   The campus will be closed on the 21st, and a number of campus events have been planned during that week to celebrate this American hero.


As we complete exams this week and our thoughts turn to the Christmas Holidays, I want to wish each of you a Merry Christmas, and a well-deserved break. Faculty and students will begin their breaks tomorrow (albeit with some grading responsibilities for faculty), and as you know, I decided to extend the Christmas holiday for staff this year by giving them an extended break (Dec. 24-28).

I appreciate the hard work that our Student Development offices have done to ensure that all of our students who must remain on campus during the holidays have a safe and secure place to stay in our dorms (despite what you may have heard earlier).

The Christmas by Candlelight program this year was another shining example of the good work being done in our music department. Thanks also to the many people, especially in the Institutional Advancement office, who worked so hard to make the annual Christmas donor appreciation dinner a success this year. We had a crowd that nearly doubled the size of last year’s dinner.

Kudos to the women’s basketball team for a thriller game last Friday night, beating Friends in overtime, following a very hard-fought regulation game. Alecia Smith was named KCAC Player of the week for her efforts in that game.

A total of 53 students are graduating mid-year, and many of them were able to join us for a Fall Graduation dinner this past Friday night. Congratulations to those graduating at mid-year.

We welcome Rhonda Pickerel to our campus. As some of you know all too well, we have had some struggles with financial aid this semester, and are currently in the process of hiring a new Director of Financial Assistance. In the meantime, we have hired Rhonda as a financial aid consultant, and she is helping us to complete the final financial aid awards for the semester and to prepare for next semester. All financial aid awards should be completed by tomorrow.

Again, have a great break. I look forward to starting the new year, and the adventures that go with it.


We are only a couple of days away from Thanksgiving break, so I wanted to first express my thanks for amazing year we are having at Kansas Wesleyan, and to wish you my best as you enjoy the week of Thanksgiving break.

For most employees and students, an entire week will be available for relaxing, eating, and in some cases, catching up on delinquent course work, or grading papers.   For others, we hope that the Thanksgiving break will include one more victory.    Congratulations to both the men’s and women’s soccer teams for winning the conference tournament, and advancing to the opening round of the NAIA.   Our athletic department worked hard this year to win the bid to host the opening round, so both teams will be playing at Salina Stadium on Saturday, with the men playing Olivet Nazarene at 1:00, and the women playing Benedictine at 4:00.  The men’s teams have not played each other before, while the women’s teams have played once, with KWU winning 1-0.   If they win on Saturday, the teams will advance to the final tournament sites, both of which are in Alabama (albeit 3 hours apart), and will play on November 27th.

The football team was disappointed to close out their season with a loss, and yet they played so far beyond what had been expected of them.   In pre-season polls, they were picked to finish in a tie for 5th in the conference, and surprised a lot of people with their quality play this year.   I was able to watch the volleyball tournament semi-final game against Friends University, in which the team played, in my opinion, one of their best games of the entire season and beat Friends.   They lost in the tournament final game the following night, but had a great season.   

Coach Brent Bailey has provided motivation for a greatly improved cross country team this year, and both men and women finished 6th in the KCAC.   Congratulations to Hillary Callaway who placed 4th in the conference meet and qualified for the NAIA Nationals.

The Fine Arts Department continues to provide quality programs for the University and the community.  The production of “I Love the Piano” will be tonight and Saturday night in Fitzpatrick Auditorium at 7:30, featuring the works of Irving Berlin.  Right down the hall can also be seen the gallery show in our art gallery.    

And major work is continuing right now across campus as we prepare for the annual  “Christmas by Candlelight” Production, with two concerts scheduled on Sunday, December 9th.

We have had some difficulties this semester relating to financial aid for some students following the retirement of our Financial Aid Director.   The University has placed an ad for a new Director, and will be conducting a national search over the next couple of months.   In the mean time, we have hired a consulting firm to help to manage our financial aid awarding issues that remain.   To those who have been affected, thank you for your patience and understanding.

Jack Lennon’s amazing work with the International Project Green Challenge just keeps going.    He has been named a finalist for the International competition.   He and 13 other finalists will be traveling to San Francisco for a 3-day eco-summit November 30-December 2. Each finalist will give a presentation on the last day, after which a champion and runner-up will be chosen for the big prizes. You can find more information about the finalists and Green University through this link:

I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving break.    The campus will be largely closed down, since all students and faculty will be on break.   Some students will remain on campus, along with student life personnel.   I have also given all of the staff the entire week off this year, for some much-deserved rest.  As noted in previous emails, there will be no mail service this week, and we apologize for that for those students who will remain on campus, but that will allow everyone to enjoy a full week of break.

I will close with four short, meaningful words from the Apostle Paul,  “IN EVERYTHING, GIVE THANKS”.


I should also mention that one of the highlights of the Alpha Chi induction was the music provided by the Kansas Wesleyan String Quartet.   What a tremendous talent we have in this select group, as well as our other choirs and bands.

And may I welcome to campus Sabrina Aubuchon, who becomes the new Assistant to the Teacher Education program.   Welcome to your new role as an employee, Sabrina.


What a phenomenal week!!

This past week was a great one for our student athletes……, I don’t mean on the competition field, although we excelled there.   I am so proud of our athletes for raising over $9,000 for breast cancer research, far exceeding their $6,000 goal.   As I noted in our presentation of the check to the Tammy Walker Cancer Center, two years ago, we raised $2,000, then increased the goal to $4,000 last year and raised $4,700, so the huge increase in funds raised was pretty impressive.  Not only are we learning how to be a good citizen, but we are also learning  leadership.   The coaches wisely stepped back and allowed our students to plan and execute their own programs to raise these funds.

And…….they were successful on the fields this week also.   During the weekend, we witnessed wins by the men’s soccer, women’s soccer, football, and volleyball teams, and continued that streak with wins by men and women’s soccer teams and volleyball last night.   Both soccer teams and the football team are in the top 25 rankings in NAIA division two this week, assisted by a record breaking 317 yards of rushing by Brett Giesen.

On Sunday afternoon, 22 students were inducted into the Alpha Chi fraternity, a national honor society which accepts only the top 10% of juniors and seniors. Congratulations to the inductees, who are among our best and brightest at Kansas Wesleyan, and thanks to sponsors Dr. Anita Specht and Dr. Steve Hoekstra for preparing a great induction service, and to Assistant Provost Kathleen Barrett-Jones for speaking.

Among all the other activities this weekend was the theatre production of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.   This well-performed play was unusual in that students played multiple characters, representing actual interviewees from the city of Laramie as they revisited the events that unfolded in 1998 with the robbery and murder of Matthew Shepherd, a 21 year old gay student at the University of Wyoming.   While all of this was going on, our debate and forensics team continued their winning ways in Kansas City.

And I certainly don’t want to overlook two other events this past week that were very significant to our students.  Last Tuesday night, our Tuesday Night Live worship combined with DVACK (Domestic Violence Association of Central Kansas) to conduct a couple of events to recognize domestic violence month, including the Clothesline project and a candlelight vigil service, both of which provided moving testimonies to the impact of domestic violence.

Carla Larkin deserves strong kudos for providing a  series of workshops titled, “Proactivity: Keys to Career Success”, which have been created to reach out to students early and provide a variety of career boosters.  The topics included in the workshops are: How to Build Resume Experience, Resume/Cover Letter Writing, Graduate School Preparation, How to Dress Fashion Show, Mock Interviews, Social Awareness (facebook/twitter/etc), Recent Graduate Experience Forum and a Networking Extravaganza Mingle.   I might mention also that Carla has been conducting a survey of recent grads, and while not fully complete, the numbers are indicating that employment has been very strong, with only 3 graduates from last year not employed, two of which for various reason have not wanted employment.

And then there is the Wesleyan Challenge, which continues to provide some very interesting material for students.   Last week, speaker Nick Taylor, a three time gold medalist in the Paralympics spoke and demonstrated his skills to a rapt audience.   This week, the Challenge will feature their own Olympic competition.    Let the games begin!!!

Surely you realize that I cannot possibly list every good thing done by our students, staff, and faculty, partly because I don’t even know it all, and also because we don’t have time to read it all.    So I won’t mention the nursing students providing screenings for 2,300 people (a new record) for the Lion’s Club project at the Kansas State Fair, or the KWU students who helped last week with the cleanup of the Martin Luther King Child Development Center, or Jack Lennon’s amazing work with the International Project Green Challenge, or a host of other significant things.


What a beautiful Wednesday…….a great day to be a Yote!!

We’ve talked a lot  lately about some of our athletic teams, but one that I want to mention today is Golf.  Congratulations to our women’s golf team, who won the Sterling tournament this week, their final tournament of the year.  Kamie Rash and Chelsie Gausman finished first and second in the tournament, and all of our players had good scores.

Congratulations also to the men’s team.   While they were short one player from having enough to compete on the team level, Rob Carlson tied for second place in the tournament.

Tommy Martin did an excellent job of speaking at Tuesday Night Live, the weekly chapel service.  It was good to see students sharing their faith.

Kudos also to the debate team, who followed their strong showing at the State Fair Debates by winning fourth among 40 teams at the Hutchinson debate tournament, and by winning the October Slam tournament at Crowder College in Missouri.

Juli Miles did a great job on the radio this morning talking about Pink Week, and the huge contribution that our fall athletic teams make to breast cancer.   Two years ago, our teams raised $2,000 for the Tammy Walker Cancer Foundation here in Salina.   Last year, the teams increased that to $4,700.   This year, their goal is $6,000.   Good work athletes!!

We also talked on the radio show this morning about Raj Punjabi, founder of Tiyatien Health, who is speaking on campus today at 1:10 in Sams Auditorium, 3:00 in Science Hall 201, and 7:00 tonight at Sam’s Auditorium. Raj, who is on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, was honored a few weeks ago by the Clinton Global Health Initiative for his outstanding work in bringing medical care to remote areas of Liberia, a project that our student body has helped with for the past two years.   We were able to purchaser a truck to transport rural patients to the clinic, and also to purchase a VSAT satellite system so a health clinic in the most remote part of Liberia could communicate with the outside world.   Our work with Tiyatien Health, along with the Liberian Widow’s initiative, has seen $25,000 provided by Kansas Wesleyan students and staff to benefit the needy in Liberia over the past two years.   We have a remarkably adept Liberian Project student group that is spearheading the work this year.

I attended the opening concert of the Salina Symphony on Sunday afternoon.  Siwoo Kim, an extraordinary violist who won the King award in 2012 was the featured soloist.  Siwoo also conducted a Master class at Kansas Wesleyan last Friday, which was well attended.  Of course, the conductor for the Salina Symphony is our own Professor Ken Hakoda.   I also noticed in the program that there are TEN KWU students who play in the symphony.   

And speaking of music, the halls were buzzing last week with over 300 high school students for the Music Learning Day hosted by our Music Department, and operated with the assistance of a host of students from our music department.   In addition to learning a number of pieces of music, students were also treated to a performance by our own award winning faculty member, Leslie Mangrum.   For more on the music department, please show up at 7:30 tomorrow night (Thursday) to hear a concert in Sam’s Auditorium.

For another great treat without even having to leave the campus, stroll through the Fine Arts building, and view the gallery display, which currently features the work of two students, Irma Garcia, and Chealsea Weaver.  I must admit that I was really impressed with the professional quality of their work,  Irma with photography, and Chealsea with graphic design.

Welcome to new employees Taylor McFarland, the Assistant Athletic Director, and Eddie Balluch, Admissions Counselor.  Jessica Fuller will also be transitioning to Admissions Counselor.

Next weekend, the Board of Trustee of Kansas Wesleyan University will be meeting.   Give them a warm KWU greeting when they arrive.

Thanks to Mary Gordon for spearheading the new KWU Web Page.   The new web page has created a nice visual image for the University, and will be a work in progress, as several new sections are gradually added to the web site content.   Thanks also to the departmental web page coordinators, who have provided information for the web page, and will be updating information as needed in their areas.


What a great weekend.    A large crowd was on hand this weekend for the Alumni Weekend.   Two things that I heard consistently from alumni who returned to campus.   First, how beautiful the campus is now, especially the Student Activity Center, which many saw for the first time, and second, how polite and friendly our students were.   Thanks for being such good hosts.

Alums were also treated to a great display of our athletic teams.  Both men and women's soccer teams won their games Saturday (against Westminster of Utah and Oklahoma Baptist, respectively), and the football game Saturday night, following a very well attended Tailgate was definitely exciting, as KWU beat Friends University 28 to 24 to become the only unbeaten team in the Conference.   The Volleyball team play away at Southeastern and also won.

At the previous week's game at Bethany, I was able to visit with the President for a while, and he was telling me how much the Lindsborg community appreciated having a team of students from Wesleyan come down and participate in a charity fundraiser in Lindsborg that weekend.    Just the normal good works that our students do on a regualr basis.

On Tuesday this week, the Universisty will receive an award from the City of Salina for the best Landscaping enhancements for the previous year.   Thanks to Darrell Victory and all of our plant ops team for their great work to make our campus beautiful   (and Darrell says, "Please don't walk on the grass").

Glenna Alexander has retired, after a long and prestigious career at Kansas Wesleyan University.   For 28 years, she has served as our Director of Enrollment and Financial Aid.   Glenna will continue to provide some consulting to us for the next couple of months, but we wish her the very best as she enjoys more travel.

I will be in meetings in Topeka for the next two days (KICA, the Independent Colleges of Kansas, and KCACm, our athletic conference).   Keep up the good work!!


The spirit on campus remains high, and I appreciate very much the strong support of our values exhibited by students, staff, and faculty.  Like many of you, I thoroughly enjoyed the football game this past Saturday night against Bethany;   a historic 100th game between these two schools.   I was very proud of our team and its supporters, as we played and cheered hard, but also demonstrated good sportsmanship both among the team and the fans of both colleges.  Congratulations also to the volleyball team for hosting a very successful tournament, while also demonstrating their own high quality of play.   Likewise, the women’s soccer team was able to defeat the women’s team from Baker University, who came to Salina as the #8 NAIA team in the country.   The men’s team scored very early in their game and fought Baker to a 2-2 tie.

It is with sad hearts that we read the news Sunday that Brandon Brown, the Tabor football player who was beaten up  while attending a party in McPherson the previous Saturday night had died, leaving behind two small kids.    A McPherson College student has subsequently been charged with murder.  To make life even tougher at McPherson College, we received news today that Paul Ziegler, a tennis player at McPherson,  died from an accident this weekend when his bicycle was struck by a car on a rural McPherson county road.    Athletic Director Dave Dallas and others will be attending the funeral of Brandon Brown, and we encourage you to remember both students, and their families, as well as the Tabor and McPherson College campuses in your prayers.

This is our homecoming week, so there will be many alumni who will be back on campus this week, especially on the weekend.   Please greet them warmly, and help to make them feel like they are “home”.  There are also events planned for students all week, starting tonight with the Casino night dinner and casino night games in HAC.   Tomorrow night will be the Faculty & Staff vs students softball game at Bill Burke Park, followed by a meal.   Wednesday night will feature a BBQ dinner, followed by the King and Queen coronation.   Saturday’s events will include a soccer match (men and women), a choir concert, and the homecoming football game at Salina stadium against Friends University.

One final note……a  businessman from Wichita who was going through Salina on Sunday morning with his wife and two small kids stopped at a local restaurant for breakfast.   Already inside the lobby were some of our athletes, wearing KWU athletic gear.   The athletes came back out of the restaurant in order to hold the door open for the businessman and his family.   He was so impressed that he took the time to write a note and tell us how impressed they were with the quality of our athletes.   

I will close today by quoting the last line from the thank-you note sent by this Wichita businessman……..”Go Coyotes.”


We received a very nice note today from the North Central Kansas Counseling Association, a group of High School Counselors who met on our campus for the first time last week.  The Director notes that they were very impressed with our campus, and with the Ambassadors who gave them a tour, and grateful for our allowing them to use our newly remodeled Fitzpatrick Auditorium.  While unloading her car,  the Director noted that a student walked up and volunteered to carry her materials into the building for her.   A forgotten laptop was resolved by Professor Esvang, who helped get their audio visual presentation operating. 

I would like to share one quote from her note…..”Our experience was so great that we would love to come back.   It was the first time they knew much about your school, and about the affordable opportunities for students.”

Well done, staff and students.


I just have to tell you how proud I am of our student body at Kansas Wesleyan.

The stands were packed Thursday night for our first home Volleyball game, and our fans were loud and proud, and yet not obnoxious.   Thanks for your team spirit, and congratulations to our volleyball team for a great match.

As if that weren’t enough excitement for one night, the men’s soccer team then came through with a hard-fought 1-0 victory in overtime later Thursday night.

Then this morning (Friday),  I sat in on Paul Hedlund’s class to hear a guest speaker, Kate Brubaker, founder of the Liberian Widow’s Initiative.   Kate described her visits to Liberia where, following a 15-year civil war that decimated the society, closed all schools, and resulted in large numbers of men being killed, women being raped, and children forced into child armies, she later interviewed countless widows who were trying to cope with the loss of husbands, humiliation from having mixed babies resulting from rapes, and trauma from watching their children being killed and raped.

On the other hand, Kate then described both the physical blessing of having a brand new school open, paid for completely by money raised by Kansas Wesleyan University students and staff, and completely free to attend, as well as the significant emotional blessing to the people of Liberia for knowing that someone outside of their country cared about them.    As Kate showed a picture of the students gathered in front of the school building which carries the name of Kansas Wesleyan University on a plaque, I realized that we are learning far more than math formulas and grammer……we are learning about life, and how to make a difference in this world.

As if that weren’t enough,  I heard from faculty this week, and also from the student development office and from RA’s, about what a great student body we have this year.   We are off to such a good start.  Now let’s continue the good fight, and make this one of the banner years in the history of Kansas Wesleyan University.    Go Yotes!!!   (and join me on the soccer (home) and football fields (at Sterling) tomorrow (Saturday) to cheer on our teams.)


I will give a more detailed update on the University in the State of the University Address, scheduled for August 31st at 3:00, but thought that I would highlight a few things prior to that event.

Kudos to the athletic department for their excellent Athletic orientation this year.   They provided a very good introduction to KWU and its athletic program, but also focused on student success, not only in athletics but in academics and life in general.   Thanks to Athletic Director Dave Dallas, Assistant Athletic Director Sarah Long, and the entire athletic department staff, plus the many volunteers across campus who helped to make this a great success.

Welcome to Sodexo, the new food service vendor for Kansas Wesleyan University.   We have already experienced their efforts to improve the quality of food and food service to our community.   Input from students and others is most welcome.

Welcome also to a host of new personnel to the campus, who will be introduced at the State of the University, including three new faculty, several new staff, and several new coaches.

And while we say hello to new faces, we also say our goodbyes to some familiar faces.   We wish the very best to Steve Berry and Sarah Long as they depart for a new adventure in Utah.  Steve has a great new opportunity there, and we wish him well.    We also wish the very best to Buck Tanner, who  has informed me that he will be leaving his employment at KWU on August 31 to pursue other interests.   Announcements regarding interim positions and searches for replacements will be made at the State of the University address. 

Remember the Pep Rally!!    This Wednesday, there will be a campus BBQ at 6:00, followed by the Fall Sports Pep Rally.  Wear your KWU colors, and come prepared to support your teams as we kick off the fall sports season.


As I write this email, the RA's have arrived for training, and the fall athletic teams are preparing to register and go through their orientation.   The Kansas Wesleyan Campus looks beautiful, despite the brutal temperatures of the summer, and the campus is waiting to welcome our returning and new students.

There are several things that are NEW for this school year.   If you've read your emails this summer, you will have discovered that President Lamkin resigned at the Board meeting in June.   The Board has appointed me to be the Interim President while a search is conducted for a new President.  I will continue in my job as Provost also, but Dr. Kathleen Barrett-Jones will return from a very brief retirement to serve as Interim Associate Provost.  Many of you know that I was a college President for 14 years before coming to KWU, so this will be familiar territory for me.

As always, my door is open, and I would appreciate getting feedback from students.   I would also note for you that the search committee for the new President includes a student, Julie Croll.   Thanks Julie, for your hard work.

Several NEW faculty join us this year, and we are thrilled with the quality of our new faculty.   Dr. Andrew Bedrous will be joining us to head up the Sociology department.   Andrew comes to us from the University of Nebraska, and plays a mean guitar and bass guitar.   Lisa Larson will join our nursing faculty, following a career as a hospital nurse and school nurse.  Dr. Martha Robertson will be the chair of our teacher education department.   Other new personnel include Cameron Jackson, our Director of Spiritual Development, Jake O'Neill, a Residence Director and Intramural Coordinator, and Morgan Miles, Director of Annual Giving and Stewardship.   In addition, several new coaches and assistant coaches join our roster this fall.  A more complete description of our new employees can be found on the front page of the KWU website.

A NEWroof is being installed on Pfeiffer Hall.    And yes, we're listening to students.   Next summer, our big project will be replacing the roof on Wilson Hall, and doing some renovations to the bathrooms.   We will get student input into the renovations as we get closer to that project.

Thanks to some generous donors, the Fitzpatrick Auditorium is being NEWLY renovated.   The walls have been redone, the floor smoothed out, and new seats will be installed, including a whole section of large seats to accommodate beefy (oops....I meant to say muscular) football players.   New lighting is being installed, along with a sound system and projector.   Seating will be apx 165.

A NEW focus on student spiritual life will be evident with the hiring of Cameron Jackson as our first Director of Spiritual Development.  Rev. Mike Rose will continue as our volunteer chaplain, and Cameron will develop and implement a number of spiritual life programs geared for students.

Professor Bryan Minnich will be the NEW Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) and will assist the NAIA in verifying that students are eligibile to participate in athletic programs.

Welcome to KWU!!      Go Yotes!!