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From the President

and although it’s the most challenging job I’ve ever had, that it’s the most meaningful and rewarding. In my role as President, I am fortunate to meet many in-

Together We Form the Eastern Family S

Eastern’s continued success is result of hard work of many

tudents and reporters oſt en ask me a fairly basic question: Why do I like this job? I always tell them I love Eastern

spiring people: students who are working hard, making a dif- ference, and overcoming obstacles; professors who are inspir- ing students, supporting their eff orts, and who are dedicated and commit ed to Eastern and its success; staff members who work tirelessly to solve problems—help students fi nd fi nan- cial aid, jobs, and support the eff orts of faculty, and alumni— the TRUEMU Eastern grads who proudly wear green and white and support all of our eff orts—academic, athletic and community engagement. It is this part of my job—meeting people who are all re-

markable in their own way, who all share a love of Eastern and all form the Eastern family—that is the highlight of my job and my favorite part of my role as President. But the great parts of this job don’t end there. I

take great pride in the accomplishments we have made over the last several years. Sharing a vision and working with others commit ed to Eastern’s success is the work that gives me the most satis- faction. I can see the diff erence we are making. And oth-

ers tell me the same thing. It is not limited to new faculty, renovated facilities, and increased fi nancial aid. We also are introducing new programs to bet er meet the needs of today’s employers. Programs such as a new Interdisciplinary Environmental Science and Society major and a new Early Childhood Education major. Students can get jobs in cyber se- curity by studying Information As- surance. We are developing a new Physician’s Assistant program. We are focusing on new and cre-

ative ways to bet er support students—both fi nancially and academically. Student success—including improving reten- tion and graduation rates—continues to be a major priority. Students also oſt en wonder about my route to the presi-

dency of Eastern and how they can pursue leadership roles. My fi rst paycheck was as a pickle packer for Aunt Jane’s

Pickles in a small town in Michigan’s thumb. I grew up on a dairy farm and went to a one-room school. My teacher grad- uated from Michigan State Normal. So what was my path to the Presidency? T e key was a

great public university education in Michigan. I earned a bachelor’s, MBA and a Ph.D. in Accounting. My parents didn’t go to college and it was the State of

Michigan taxpayers who paid my tuition and fees for me to earn my fi rst degree. Every day I serve as President I am com- mit ed to giving back to enable others like me to earn college degrees and obtain rewarding jobs that enable them to sup- port a family and live in this great State of Michigan. As alumni, this is a critical economic time and

Eastern needs your support. Many of our students struggle to pay for their college degree. T ey de- serve great faculty, state of the art facilities, and fresh, vibrant campus housing and campus life programs. Support our students. Support our Uni-

versity. Support opportunity. Support Eastern. It is only by joining together as an Eastern family that we can continue to enhance our great, historic public university. We can be assured that future gen- erations will have access to a great college education and the oppor- tunities, similar to those I had, that Eastern has provided to thousands of graduates.

Eastern | WINTER 2012 5

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