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It’s been said that the only constant in this life is change. Change is occurring all around us, at all times. Maybe that’s why it’s so wonderful to reflect on our memories – those good times in our lives that will be forever unchanged in our hearts. For me, and probably for you, those good times would include our time as a Bearcat in Maryville.
Our reality is indeed dealing with change, whether we like it or not. Our beloved Northwest is experiencing rapid-fire change, perhaps at a rate even greater than you and I are feeling it. Competition for resources (students, funds, public appropriations, faculty and staff) is fierce. Educational models are shifting, as is the technology that allows that shift. Whoever thought that you could obtain a college degree without setting foot on campus? Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski and his leadership team are working to understand, and be out in front of, the changes that are coming our way.
Your Foundation is changing, too. We have a new (but familiar) executive director in Mike Johnson. We are constantly evaluating our Board and recruiting dynamic new members to serve the University. I am honored to serve as the first female Northwest Foundation president, and I look forward to working collaboratively with our Board, Regents, faculty, staff and students to “passionately engage change.” That is my mantra for the next two years. We can either sit and wait for change to happen to us, or we can engage with all of those who love Northwest and make that change a positive for Northwest.
We know that as the Northwest Foundation, we will be asked to provide more scholarships for our students and more direct aid to the University. Currently, we have about 6,600 donors to the Foundation. We award an average of 776 scholarships per year, with an average value of $683 per student. Our total support to the University since 2007 has been $10,680,983. We’re proud of those numbers, yet we stand ready to change – fully engaged and passionate about our mission.
What are you passionate about in your hopes and dreams for Northwest? How can you become engaged with your university? These are the kinds of questions that I am asking each of the Northwest Foundation board members to answer. I hope you will join us in our quest to make our alma mater even better than what we remember. That’s a change we can all root for!
Holly Murphy-Barstow '81
President, Northwest Foundation