Unmistakable Signs of Spring

It certainly doesn’t look—or feel—like spring. In fact, my final winter in Moorhead is threatening to break the record for consecutive days below 40 degrees. And, although we haven’t (yet) broken a record for precipitation, our grounds crew is still hauling piles of snow from campus. Just this morning, another few inches covered our sidewalks.

Yet all around me, in the rituals and rhythms of campus life and the academic calendar, there are signs that a change of seasons is imminent. And, even if the weather isn’t fully on board, there are reasons to feel hopeful. Here are a few signs that spring is near:

  • Construction on MSUM’s Alumni Center has begun in earnest and, by mid-April, there will be visible signs of progress at the construction site. I’m already looking forward to returning to campus for the building’s opening in 2024.
  • The 2023 legislative session is in full swing and, last week, the House and Senate announced their joint budget target for higher education: an unprecedented $650 million. While that target includes funding for not only Minnesota State but also the University of Minnesota and the Office of Higher education, it seems clear that MSUM will receive a substantial increase in state funding during the next biennium.
  • And, in just a few weeks, MSUM will host its 25th Student Academic Conference, a showcase of student research and creative projects. If you’re looking for reasons to feel hopeful, I invite you to join us on April 18th in the Comstock Memorial Union as we celebrate this annual rite of spring and all that our students accomplish with the guidance of MSUM’s outstanding faculty.

Yes, signs of spring are all around us. Any day now, I’ll see students walking to class in shorts and sandals.

Dr. Anne Blackhurst served as Minnesota State University Moorhead’s 11th president from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2023.

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