Greetings, and welcome to Missouri Western! Or, if you are returning, then welcome back!

It is an honor to be entering my ninth year as the President of Missouri Western, and we have a lot of good news to celebrate this fall. Just yesterday, we took a moment to open the newly renovated pool complex. This would not have been possible without the many partners who supported this project: The City of St. Joseph, Buchanan County, the St. Joseph School District, and your Student Government Association.

On Thursday, we will celebrate the opening of the new Spratt Stadium and our new video scoreboard, which can be summed up in one word: massive. Students in our School of Fine Arts may notice the face lift that Potter Hall received over the summer, and all students will appreciate the great work that has been done on the second floor of Blum Union.

Over the past year, our academic programs have been the example of excellence. Just a few of the many examples would include the Craig School of Business working with leaders from the St. Joseph community to develop and approve our first Master of Business Administration degree, while our Center for Entrepreneurship has already served over 250 clients in its mere two year existence.

Faculty in our School of Fine Arts continue to demonstrate excellence in teaching, with Teresa Harris and Dr. Elise Hepworth recognized at the state and local level for their efforts.

In the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a team led by Dr. Todd Eckdahl and Dr. Jeff Poet with an emphasis in undergraduate research has resulted in a grant worth over one million dollars for synthetic biology research.

In the College of Professional Studies, growth and prestige in our health related programs encouraged us to create the brand new School of Nursing and Health Professions. Of course, these are merely a sample of the amazing work our faculty do every day.

Whether you are just beginning your journey, are on the path towards graduation, or nearing the finish line of your degree, I encourage you to take full advantage of the many resources available on our campus. The Center for Student Involvement, the Center for Multicultural Education, the Center for Academic Success, our Counseling Center, the Career Development Center, and all of our faculty and staff are here for one purpose – to help you succeed. Nothing makes us happier than when students first arrive on our campus, and nothing makes us prouder than to see those students graduate and change the world.

Have a great year, and Go Griffons!

Bob Vartabedian

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