January 11, 2012
Every new year creates opportunities for all of us, and especially after the two-week break from work and classes, allows us to see what's ahead with fresh eyes and reinvigorated spirits.
At WesternU in 2012, we are looking forward to the Preview Days that bring potential students to campus, to more monthly sessions of the Pomona Health Career Ladder program, and of course to Commencement, where many years of study and commitment are celebrated by our graduates. Farther down 2012's road, we expect a record number of new students at the Convocation and white coat ceremonies in August; will double enrollment at COMP-Northwest by welcoming a second year of students to our campus in Lebanon, Oregon; and by year's end will have completed major elements of a campus strategic planning process that got underway last month, as we make plans for what WesternU will be long past just 2012.
And it is with no small amount of pride and appreciation that I note our University will celebrate its 35th anniversary on September 4, 2012, the day after Labor Day. My, how the time flies.
Each of us also are that much closer to our individual goals. Across the University, research projects are winding down, but with assuredly more in the offing. If you are a fourth-year student, you have but one more semester of study left before a job or residency beckons. Staff and faculty have a wide variety of projects that will come to a close in the coming months. As surely as one ocean wave follows another, these endings only lead to new beginnings.
This looking forward should not cause us to avoid casting our eyes backward for a moment, however, as where we have been strongly underscores where we will go. WesternU accomplished much in 2011; let's scratch some of the surface of a deep well of accomplishment:
- In January, our College of Pharmacy was named Top Partner by CVS Caremark.
- An open house at the Patient Care Center in March attracted more than 300 people, highlighting the community's intense interest in the services we provide.
- As part of a national wave of increased applications to osteopathic medical schools, COMP and COMP-Northwest surpassed 6,000 total applicants for the fall 2011 semester.
- WesternU was one of just nine academic institutions nationally to be awarded the 2011 Visiting Professorship in Endocrine Pancreas Preservation (VPEPP) from the Endocrine Society.
- In a proclamation read on the floor of the Oregon Senate chambers, COMP-Northwest was officially welcomed to the state.
- The University marked its 30th Commencement exercises in Pasadena by cloaking a record 741 new health-care professionals.
- After serving as interim dean for several months, Dr. Steven Friedrichsen was named dean of the College of Dental Medicine.
- WesternU's Towne and Gown Golf Classic revived a WesternU tradition, raising more than $15,000 for student scholarships thanks to the generosity of T.F. Chen, DDS, who underwrote the entire event.
- Dr. Lawrence Harkless, dean of the College of Podiatric Medicine, was honored with the Trailblazer Award by the National Podiatric Medical Association.
- All 39 graduates of WesternU's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Class of 2010 passed the National Physical Therapy Examination for licensure.
- WesternU's Master of Health Sciences program, a foundational element of what is now the College of Allied Health Professions, celebrated its 25th anniversary.
- COMP-Northwest, an ambitious attempt to train future physicians in a rural setting so that they may one day practice in rural settings, welcomed an inaugural class of 107 students to its Lebanon, Oregon campus in late July.
- Some 1,111 new students - a record - began to call WesternU their home in August during Convocation and white coat ceremonies.
- College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) students from the Class of 2011 scored a record high of 98% on their North American Veterinary Licensing Examination final pass rate.
- College of Pharmacy Class of 2011 graduates had a pass rate of 99 percent on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX). The national pass rate was 94.16 percent.
- Dr. Michel Baudry, most recently a professor of biological sciences, neurology and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California, was appointed dean of the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences.
- The College of Graduate Nursing was poised to become a leader in quality and safety education as the result of a $500,000 grant from The Fletcher Jones Foundation.
- WesternU's annual A Tribute to Caring, which in 2011 honored AmerisourceBergen Corporation, raised more than $175,000 for student scholarships.
Certainly, any such list is incomplete, as the progress and accomplishments made across our University over the past year are vast. Suffice to say that we made great strides in fulfilling our mission of educating health professionals who will help improve quality of life in our communities, and remain a valuable resource in Southern California, Oregon, and across the nation and globe.
As always, I welcome your feedback on this topic and any others as we discuss WesternU's Benchmarks of Value, and our plans. Please e-mail me with your thoughts at email@example.com, and feel free to share this message with your family and friends.
My best to you all,