September 30, 2016

“Webster graduates world changers”

By Elizabeth Stroble

 Welcome, students, to Webster University’s Centennial year. We are glad you are here! Whether you are a brand new Gorlok or well on the way to your degree, we know this year will be a great one to be at Webster.

Many of your fellow Webster students, as well as Webster’s dedicated faculty and staff and community partners wherever Webster students call home have planned and prepared for just this time. We are eager for classes to start, activities to launch and memories to be made. This is a year to treasure as we celebrate so many accomplishments of those who came before us. And together we will share the year that Webster graduates its final class of our first century and welcomes the next.

Lauren Hoggatt, BA ’10, MA ’12 describes us this way: “Webster doesn’t graduate students, it graduates world changers.”

It’s true, and changing the world starts while you are here this year. Create the foundation for understanding world challenges in the courses you take. Plan now to study abroad — many options are available to you. Engage with speakers who bring global messages to the campus. Embrace the diversity of our students, faculty and staff. Volunteer to put your education in action for the 20th annual day of community service Webster Works Worldwide on October 1.

We will kick off the Centennial year on Friday, September 19th with a lunchtime street party at the Old Post Office Plaza downtown St. Louis and an evening Garden Glow event here on the Webster Groves campus. Join us for the celebration and many more ways we will mark this historic year.

 You can find more information at www.webster.edu/centennial.

As an undergraduate, I developed a lifelong love of people’s stories of time and place. When I first arrived at Webster, we assembled hundreds of Webster stories to reveal the unique ways that Webster has shaped generations of individuals at the same time they have shaped Webster. Recently we have gathered more, and you will find many of them on the Centennial website. Each of us has a Webster story, and this is a year to not only share our stories, but to create new ones as a foundation for the future. How will future generations of this Webster community describe the mark we made? What stories will they tell about our time here? I believe we enjoy a unique opportunity to build on a legacy of innovation, global academic excellence, resilience, diverse and inclusive community and the courage to explore new frontiers — both intellectual and geographic. Let us work together to prepare for what is next at this great university we share. I invite you to share your own Webster stories on the Centennial website.

I encourage your leadership as we address the challenges and opportunities ahead for Webster University, for our communities and for our world. I look forward to talking with you as we see each other around campus, enjoying the year’s events and at delegates’ agenda or my monthly open office hours. You can find me on twitter @websterpres (our centennial hashtag is #webster100) or send me an email at president@webster.edu.

Welcome and Go Gorloks!

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