Welcome to Schreiner, as the 2012-13 academic year draws to a close. At the beginning of the year, I spoke of the ingenuity, imagination and technical talent of incoming first-year students who were tasked with creating useful products from an odd assortment of objects. Recently, those same traits (as well as hard work) were on display for our second annual Student Achievement Showcase.
The SAS is a day devoted to the accomplishments of our students. Poster presentations, panels, and performances are all employed in this demonstration of student learning. As individuals and in teams, they informed listeners about the impact of armored catfish on Hill Country tadpoles, the origins of the Bogeyman, the psychological aspects of injury recovery, and innovative ways of learning French. They spoke on lucid dreaming, equine assisted psychotherapy, and the impact of e-textbooks. They read their poems and documented the creative process of composing a musical piece. Over 100 of our students participated in a successful SAS.
Commencement 2013 sees us congratulating the largest group of graduates in Schreiner history. This year 193 undergraduates, including our first BSN class, and 30 graduate students, including our first MBA recipients, will earn their diplomas. Schreiner’s growth over the last decade is well reflected in these numbers. Much has happened since that first 16 received their diplomas back in 1984, as trustee Tom Baldwin, a member of that class, can testify. It makes us proud to be able to serve the growing student body, even as we retain the strong relationships with our students that is Schreiner’s heritage.
Growing graduating classes offer a reminder of the importance of our current #1 fundraising priority, a new athletic and event center. We are making progress on that project and look to provide an update in the near future. In the meantime, other improvements continue. A new plaza graces the student quadrangle, and commencement will mark the beginning of the next phase of that project, which will be the complete renovation of walkways and landscaping in that quadrangle. At the same time, our new food service vendor, Chartwells, will be renovating the Gus Schreiner Dining Hall in preparation for implementing their exciting enhancement of dining services in the fall. When you visit us this summer, please be patient with the temporary obstacles you will face in this area. Our students will benefit soon from this progress.
We recognize how challenging it is for families to afford a residential college experience and its opportunities for growth of character and intellect. But we also know how important such an education is and how strongly those who experience it affirm its value. That is precisely why Schreiner pays such exceptional attention to balancing its commitment to quality with a close eye to managing cost. Sometimes it means working a little smarter, but frankly that is a trait that benefits any enterprise. We will not change that commitment.