As we prepare to turn the page from 2021 to 2022, I am reminded of how far we have come this year. I have frequent opportunities and reasons to reflect on what the Central community has faced during the past 12 months. Amid a time of change and uncertainty, it is both comforting and affirming to have people and places that are constants we can cling to. They remain steady in their leadership, forward in their vision and generous with their time and advocacy of others. For many of us, the colleagues, friends and connections we have made through Central are our constants.
While we still have challenges ahead of us, we have proven we have the strength of purpose to innovate through seemingly insurmountable circumstances.
We have taken on the tasks that build toward a bright and hopeful future – refining and activating the strategic plan; refreshing our mission, vision and values; curating thousands of data elements that inform more strategic decisions; and, energizing our efforts to generate new connection points in the community.
Our faculty are earning patents for new technology, writing more inclusive history books and leading discipline knowledge in our state. They’re building community partnerships that help children, the imprisoned and the homeless. They’re working side by side with legislators and business leaders to inform decisions that affect our state. Supporting their work have been hundreds of people across the university counseling, coaching, advising, feeding, housing and socializing our students.
For decades, we have educated and supported our students staying true to our purpose. And during that time, we have adopted new practices that improved our impact and increased our students’ opportunities to succeed. The future demands no less of us and we are up to the task.
This place was built with the future in mind – each of us shapes its impact and carries UCO forward.
The stories you will read in this edition of Old North underscore the power of the connections our students, faculty, staff and alumni have with not only UCO but each other and the community.
Best wishes to you,