Dear Alumni and Friends,
In 2018, I earned a new title—one I embrace with just as much pride as “President Anne.” Like the role of university president, my new role carries tremendous responsibility. It’s also incredibly rewarding. In fact, few life experiences have compared to the wonder of meeting my first grandchild, Elle Monroe Blackhurst, who made me “Grandma Anne.”
Becoming a grandmother has given me a new perspective on the future. While I once spent my days contemplating the future awaiting today’s college students—and the kind of education they’ll need to be prepared for that future—I now find myself thinking even more long term. If it’s difficult to imagine the world we might inhabit in 10 or 20 years, it’s virtually impossible for me to fathom how that world might change by the time my granddaughter is in her 30s and 40s. And yet, I’m convinced that higher education will be essential to meeting the challenges and opportunities of that world.
This issue of Moorhead Magazine is a great reminder that higher education has been adapting and evolving since its inception. Many of the alumni featured in this issue are pursuing careers that didn’t even exist when I was in college. Video game development, virtual reality, 3D modeling, and other applications of animation transcend the historical boundaries between art, design, technology, and film. They also foretell a future in which those boundaries will be a distant memory.
Keeping up with the accelerating pace of change is daunting, but MSUM is continually evaluating its academic programs to ensure they are current and relevant. One way we do this is by meeting regularly with employers and asking them to envision their professions in 10 to 20 years. Our business partners tell us what we should be thinking about now so that we’re preparing graduates who will be successful in the futures they envision. They also tell us when it’s time to stop doing something because it’s no longer relevant.
Even as our mix of academic programs is evolving, there are some things that are constant. Our core values of grit, humility and heart. The extraordinary dedication of our faculty to the craft of teaching. The deep, meaningful engagement between faculty and students. The process of exploration and discovery that ultimately transforms our students’ lives. These are the qualities that have always defined MSUM. And they’re the qualities that will serve our students well as we create our future together.
With Dragon Pride,