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President Giese Delivers State of the College Address

August 22, 2007

President Richard F. Giese delivered the State of the College Address to faculty and staff of Mount Union College on Tuesday, August 21 in Rodman Playhouse.

'We are eager to continue to build on our collective dreams for a tremendous college that meets the needs of today's students as they prepare to be leaders in our society, our country and our increasingly interconnected world,' said Giese.

'Our college's 161st year was a time of balanced budgets, demolition of buildings, construction of new ones, fresh beginnings and dramatic growth in many areas.'

Giese reviewed the six strategic initiatives upon which the College has been focused over the past year: developing a curriculum for the future and providing the facilities needed to deliver it efficiently and effectively; improving the residential nature of the campus; growing the enrollment; expanding the diversity of the campus community, enhancing the financial strength; and improving the reputation and name recognition of the College.

Over the past year, a new major in intervention specialist (special education) was developed and approved for implementation. In addition, medical technology, in cooperation with the Cleveland Clinic, has been developed and tentatively approved. Other curriculum enhancements include the new television studio and the Ideas Exchange Hours while other areas of academic enhancement and expansion are currently being researched.

Mount Union's commitment to its 24/7 living and learning environment remains strong, and Giese cited renovations to the Hoover-Price Campus Center and several residence halls as well as the construction of townhouses and apartments as examples. The First Year Experience has been doubled this year to include 217 members of the freshman class.

Last fall's record new student class of 700, combined with this fall's anticipated class of 650, is easily the largest over a two-year period in the College's history.

The 2006-2007 Fiscal Year marked the 53rd straight year of a balanced operating budget and strategy for the future is being based upon the development of a five-year planning model. Investments by the College yielded outstanding returns and the endowment has grown to $144 million. Fundraising efforts remain strong as the Annual Fund surpassed its record-setting goal of $1.286 million.

According to Giese, diversity initiatives continue to be at the forefront. An international student intern has been hired along with several outstanding new faculty members. Goals for an Asian initiative have been established and preliminary work has been completed on Asian student and faculty exchanges, Asian internships and faculty study groups to Asia. Alumni groups were established in Japan, Malaysia and Bangkok.

The areas of focus during the coming year will be on exploring and implementing academic program expansion; developing a student 'Center for Success;' constructing, renovating and expanding campus facilities to meet the future needs of the students; taking a leadership role in economic and community development, sustainability efforts and business ethics; implementation of an emergency notification system and refinement of the Crisis Response and Management Plan.

'I am extremely grateful to the entire campus community for making the past year one of growth and progress,' said Giese. 'I fully expect the next year to be equally busy and fulfilling, requiring renewed energy, enthusiasm and teamwork.'

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