We are officially halfway through the semester and spring break is just around the corner. Students are preparing for midterm exams and preparations are already underway for this year’s graduation ceremonies. All eyes are focused on enrollment for next year as we now concentrate on converting applicants to admits and, finally, to enrolled students.
Board of Trustees Meeting
At the two-day board meeting in February, the Board of Trustees approved a number of key strategic initiatives:
- The 2017–18 Operating and Capital Projects budget
- Promotions for 16 faculty
- A new major in Outdoor Education and Leadership
- A new major and minor in Sports Management
- Discontinuing the Masters of Professional Communication program
- Appointment of a pricing committee to oversee the renovation of the Nursing Skills Lab
- A charter for the Retirement Plan Fiduciary Committee
- This year’s honorary degree recipients and Commencement speaker
The trustees also discussed the college’s five-pronged enrollment plan and new business models, along with progress reports on the Comprehensive Campaign.
Commencement Speaker and Honorees
I’m pleased to announce author and humanitarian Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., as the college’s 2017 Commencement speaker. Father Boyle is the founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, CA, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world. He is the author of the 2010 New York Times bestseller “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion,” and the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary, “G-Dog.”
We will also be giving honorary doctorate degrees:
- Cherie Wood, Mayor of South Salt Lake
- Ronald W. Jibson, retired Chairman, President, and CEO of Questar
- Dr. Michael Bassis, teacher, scholar, administrator, and Westminster’s 16th president
This year’s Commencement ceremony will be held May 13, 2017 at 9:45 a.m. at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah. You can read more information about Father Boyle and all of our Commencement honorees online.
Employee Appreciation Celebration
Last Friday, we honored 53 employees for their years of dedicated service at the Employee Appreciation Celebration. We also announced the winners of the annual Westminster Community Awards:
- Frances Peacock, Student Advocate Award
- Chris Hartman, Spirit of Westminster Award
- Krista DeAngelis, Community Outreach Award
- Winter Morse, Westminster Leadership Award
- Global Engagement, Department of Distinction Award
Congratulations again to the winners and all of our nominees on their outstanding accomplishments this year.
Emergency Management Plan
We recently posted the latest emergency management plan to the website and I encourage you to take a few minutes to read through it and familiarize yourself with our procedures. The Senior Team and Leadership Council have reviewed the plan and elected for the whole campus to participate in the Great American Shake Out on April 20. More details are forthcoming.
At the end of February, the aviation program received full accreditation from the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) for the next five years. This accreditation affirms that all students who graduate from Westminster’s aviation program have a broad background in the aviation industry, as well as the necessary skills for aviation specialization. Congratulations to the aviation faculty and staff that worked hard to achieve this recognition.
All College Meeting
I invite you to attend the All College Meeting this Thursday, March 9, from 3–5:00 p.m. in the Gore School of Business Auditorium. We will be addressing the 2017–18 budget and plans for the future.
Last week we hosted the annual Scholarship Luncheon where we honored three donors who have focused their philanthropic efforts on helping students who want to become teachers: Buckley Johnson (’59), Myra and Lucille Harris (’36), and the M. Lynn Bennion Foundation. I love seeing first-hand the difference scholarships make in the lives of our students, and the incredible things it enables our students to accomplish. Westminster really is a place where students can pursue their dreams and I want to thank all of you who work each day to continue that legacy.
I wish you all a fun and relaxing spring break next week.