President Arthur talks past, present and future at Convocation

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Photo courtesy of President's Office
Ryan Jay

Ryan Jay

Ryan Jay is the Business Manager of the Metropolitan State University.

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Pres­i­dent Vir­ginia “Ginny” Arthur kicked off the 20172018 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: