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President Virginia “Ginny” Arthur kicked off the 2017 – 2018 school year with her live-streamed speech at Convocation on August 16.
Convocation is a gathering of the university community at the start of the academic year. It is an opportunity to “mark our students’ passage into higher education, or their progress toward another academic year,” Arthur said. She welcomed new students and colleagues to Metro State.
Arthur lauded the conferral of nearly 2,200 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees during the 2017 academic year, the university’s largest number of graduates ever.
She announced the reaffirmation of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission this past spring. The next accreditation check comes in 10 years.
Arthur expressed her gratitude to everyone who assisted in the process.“Responding to the feedback from our systems portfolio report, making improvements to our processes, and documenting all that good work, really was a Herculean task,” she said.
Several new grants were announced during Arthur’s speech. These grants will help pay for student internship stipends, support teacher candidates of color, provide suicide prevention resources, and sustain a student emergency fund. She also announced a “post-grant support” position, an idea greeted with applause.
Amidst celebratory announcements, Arthur also noted the sudden loss of Associate Provost Doug Knowlton, who died July 5. Arthur remembered him as “a kind and helpful person who was extraordinarily supportive of our students.” She commended Knowlton for his “care and tact,” while dealing with the most difficult of student cases.
Noting the paradox of a non-traditional university with strong traditions, Arthur discussed how to shape the future of Metro State while honoring those traditions. “I find that the founding principles of this university are exactly what position us for an exciting and meaningful future,” she said.
By transforming students into graduates, Arthur said the university can benefit the community. While Metro State is a place for new ideas and sharing, hate or discrimination will never be tolerated in any form, she said. She encouraged students to be a positive force in the world, instilling “universal values of justice, equity, and opportunity for people.”
A video of Arthur’s speech is available at the “MetropolitanState Live” channel on YouTube: