Summer Sun Invigorates Campus

As summer breezes into Rio Grande, the campus is filled with many young faces. This is the time of year we have several high school students embracing their first experience with college life – band camps, sports camps, etc. Sitting in my office in Allen Hall, I see potential University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College future students every day. At the same time, our orientations for new fall learners are going very well. It is a quieter time in some ways; in others, the business of higher education takes no breaks!

This past weekend, we had 65 Archon alumni on campus. It's such a delight for me, as president, to hear the "do you remember when" stories. Some trustees joined my husband Bill and me Friday night and regaled us with their times at Rio Grande. It reminded me how much we want to update the archives collection and make it readily accessible to our alumni. Take a look at your own memorabilia, and please let us know if you have any collectibles to add to the archives. When you are on campus, we would be thrilled to take you through them any time. Just contact Annette Ward in the Alumni Office in Allen Hall.

At this time, the same Allen Hall is filled with faculty who are seeking "temporary housing." The reason behind their move is the work on Wood Hall, which will infuse $3.5-million from the State of Ohio to renovate the entire building. The project will take a year, so we have relocated faculty across the campus. This capital project reflects the strong partnership with the Community College, through which the funds are received.

Our leadership team and faculty continue to be involved in state and national initiatives, including the important focus on what is termed The College Completion Agenda. For many years, institutions focused mostly on recruiting new students, with many becoming lost in the system and not graduating. The shift has focused now to a completion agenda, which measures our success on those who complete classes, certificate programs and degrees. Ohio is well positioned through collaborative institutional efforts to make great strides in this arena.

My own work includes appointment to the Council of Presidents of the Association of Governing Boards (AGB). The Association is the organization dedicated to training trustees and presidents to work collaboratively on university governance. The national boards on which we serve position Rio well to become part of critical discussions about the future of higher education in America. While I am always pleased to represent Rio, I am especially proud of our faculty who continue to publish in juried journals, present at conferences, offer substantial public service and do research in their field. Together, we are working to strengthen your alma mater.

May each of you have a wonderful summer with family, loved ones and friends. If time allows, come back to campus and let us show you how it has changed over the years. Please let me know if you want to spend some time with me or others to discuss our past and future. Thank you for everything you do to keep your memories of Rio alive; we stand ready to make many more for current and future students.

Barbara Gellman-Danley, Ph.D.