It was great to see so many of you at Family Weekend. It’s always wonderful to share this special weekend as one Xavier family. The weather isn’t always on our side, but the connections we make with each other and the focus on our students, your children, always make it a fantastic event.
I’m happy to report that Xavier is once again considered one of the best schools in the Midwest according to U.S. News and World Report. The 2006 edition ranks us third best in the Midwest master’s category.
Xavier University is also one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education according to The Princeton Review. The 2006 edition of “The Best 361 Colleges” annual guide includes a two-page profile on Xavier. About 15 percent of four-year colleges in the U.S. and only two Canadian colleges are in the book. And our recognition by The Princeton Review doesn’t stop there. For the second year in a row, Xavier, along with the likes of prestigious universities such as Yale, Stanford and MIT, has one of the nation’s most outstanding business schools, according to The Princeton Review’s 2006 edition of “Best 237 Business Schools.”
Our Catholic, Jesuit tradition also made the national spotlight this year with an incredible exhibit called “A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and The Jewish People.” More than 7,000 people visited our campus over the summer to see the interactive exhibit, which was created and directed by Bill Madges, chair of the department of theology, James Buchanan, director for the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue, and Rabbi Abie Ingber, a distinguished member of the Cincinnati Jewish community. The exhibit is now on display through the end of the year at the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. Visit www. jp2cc.org for more information.
On an on-going basis, work continues on our strategic planning process, designed to drive Xavier’s Jesuit, Catholic mission and identity ever more deeply into the fabric of University life. The strategic plan discussion now includes a focus on a campus master plan. This is an exciting project because it ultimately provides a learning and living environment that meets the needs of today’s “millennial” student. Things have changed since you and I were in school.
Technology is key and a collaborative learning environment is essential. Another way we’re meeting students’ needs is through a newly restructured approach to career services. This new model combines individual college-based initiatives with the support provided by a central office to significantly improve the assistance our students receive when it is time to graduate and find that first job—something I know is very important to all of you.
It’s hard to believe that 2006 is just weeks away. It will be a significant year on campus because it marks Xavier’s 175th anniversary. We’ll keep you informed of the many events happening on campus throughout the year. It is always good to hear from parents, so please feel free to stay in touch with us. Please know that you and those you love best are in my thoughts and prayers through-out the year.
And remember, it is on your behalf of the future of those you love that all of us here at Xavier do what we do, day by day.