Celebrating the past, preparing for the future
By Jeff Abernathy
Alma College President
This is an exciting time to be at Alma College.
All across campus, in every classroom and department, we’re seeing new ways of reaching students and equipping them with the skills they need to become outstanding leaders in their communities. We’re also seeing our hard work bear fruit in transformative ways that will enrich the campus experience and help them dream bigger than they ever thought possible.
One of the most apparent ways we see progress taking place is through the Learning Commons construction project, which you’ll read more about in this edition of The Tartan. We anticipate the Learning Commons will open to students early next year. When open it will serve as a symbol of our academic excellence — facilitating interaction, collaboration and community building. It’s a celebration of Alma’s uniquely personalized and engaging educational approach.
I can’t wait to see it become a reality.
You’ll also read about advancements being made in our master’s degree offerings. We know, based on rigorous research and consulting with industry leaders, that there is a tremendous need for cybersecurity professionals in the marketplace. Indeed, if you browse the news, you’ll likely read stories about data science, cloud computing or hacking.
That’s why we’re so proud to announce our second master’s degree program — following the successful launch of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree — the Master of Science degree in Communication and Information Technology. As you’ll see in this edition of The Tartan, the M.S. in CIT is a great fit for Alma College, because it trains students to be bold thinkers in the pursuit of academic excellence.
Despite so many changes on campus, we continue to stay true to our mission, and our tradition, as Alma Scots. The 50th anniversary of Title IX — the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school — is worth celebrating for the impact it has had to improve diversity, equity and inclusion efforts nationwide. At Alma College, we marked the anniversary with a gathering of female athletes from past generations to speak with current student-athletes, to pass on their memories so that their efforts may endure.
At the same time, we have added a new varsity sport, women’s wrestling, which we expect to grow rapidly and become another point of pride for our Athletics department.
As this is our pre-homecoming issue, we want to make sure everyone knows what’s happening on homecoming weekend, Sept. 23-25. As in past years, we will honor those alumni from several generations who have chosen different paths to build lives of purpose and service. We will host an academic department reception and welcome alumni who are celebrating milestone anniversaries.
Special for this year, we honor the Kiltie Marching Band, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The members of the Kiltie Band, whom you’ll read more about in this issue as well, have been ambassadors for Alma College across the world, bringing enjoyment to many, many people. I look forward to personally seeing so many former band members return to Alma College at homecoming and to honor their tradition of excellence.
I hope you will join us!