From the Presidents Desk

A quarterly letter to our readers from IWU President Eric Jensen

(From IWU Magazine, WINTER 2016-17)

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I’m writing this note on a trip to Arizona. Elizabeth and I have been visiting alumni, and there are quite a few of you here. How many, you ask? There are so many Chicagoans here that Portillo’s has come to Arizona. Where there are Illinoisans, there of course are Titans, and we had a good turnout at the Phoenix Alumni Connection. The attendees had a chance to meet our new Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing, LeAnn Hughes. Wayne Messmer ’72 and his wife, Kathleen, opened the meeting with a wonderful “Star-Spangled Banner,” followed by “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Wayne graciously allowed us to fill in any team name we might choose at the “root, root, root for…” part of the song. I’ll confess that I substituted “White Sox” for “Cubbies.”

Now that we are in our second year of these visits, Elizabeth and I have the great pleasure of reconnecting with people we’ve met. We were welcomed warmly everywhere we went on our first visits, and it’s wonderful to feel that same warmth again. It’s also good to be able to reconnect with individual alums about their particular interests and to talk about how those line up with IWU’s needs. We’re working on systematizing some of that.

An important component of that effort is our obtaining your help in recruiting new students. Many of the schools with which we compete for students use alumni for in-person interviews, telephone calls and other direct contact. One of LeAnn Hughes’ areas of emphasis is to ensure that we recruit in ways that “out-personalize” our competition. Her office, in collaboration with Alumni Relations, will be sending you a survey in the near future about what roles you might want to play in that effort. I’ve spoken at several alumni gatherings about the importance in recruiting of personal contacts from alumni. We value your assessment of the students, but honestly, it is the chance to show off our happy and successful alums to prospective students that we find the most exciting element of this effort. Thank you in advance for your help

It will be an exciting few weeks when we return to campus. Mona Hanna-Attisha, one of Time’s 100 most influential people for 2016 as a result of her work on the Flint, Michigan water system, speaks for Founders’ Day. This will be followed by a Stevenson lecture by Felipe Calderón, former President of Mexico. These kind of opportunities are truly special for students.

Go Titans, 
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