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July 2, 2009
Dr. John Jasinski and family were welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd of well-wishers, including a group of Horace Mann schoolchildren, after arriving at the east door of the Administration Building Thursday, July 2, for the new University president's first official day on the Northwest campus.
Applause and cheers from faculty and staff, clad largely in Bearcat green, greeted the Jasinskis as they walked from their car beneath the blue sky of a perfect July morning. Northwest mascot Bobby Bearcat worked the crowd, and the entryway leading into the Administration Building was decorated with a green carpet and a large banner reading, "Welcome Dr. Jasinski."
While First Lady Denise Jasinski, accompanied by children Matt, Joe, Leah and Lucas, mingled and shook hands, President Jasinski spoke a brief word of welcome to the crowd before taking questions from a group of reporters during an impromptu press conference in front of the Circle Drive fountain.
"It's a great day to be a Bearcat, and we are ready to get after it," Jasinski said. "There are great things here at Northwest Missouri State University, so many good things, and we are very, very excited." He added that, as president, he was eager to hear from members of the University community and listen to their ideas.
"It's important that we hear from you,' Jasinski said. "You all know that we've got a long, long tradition of greatness and of excellence at Northwest, and that will continue. Thank you for being here and have a great day."
After spending about 20 minutes outside with the crowd and the media, Jasinski got a high-five from Bobby Bearcat before entering the century-old Administration Building. Shortly after walking into his first-floor office to begin a full day of meetings and phone conversations, including interviews with radio personalities from KCMO and KMA, the president took a congratulatory call from state Sen. Brad Lager, a Maryville resident and Northwest alumnus.
It was to be, in his own words, "a busy, busy day" with a schedule that included a morning-long Leadership Team meeting with senior University administrators, lunch with Board of Regents President James W. "Bill" Loch, and an afternoon session with Interim Provost Douglas Dunham and Nodaway County Economic Development Director Lee Langerock.
Additional activities were to include a pre-Independence Day flag-raising for youngsters at Horace Mann Laboratory School, a late-afternoon faculty/staff reception in the J.W. Jones Student Union and an evening ceremony for participants in the University's Upward Bound program.
Though Thursday was Jasinski's first official workday on campus it was actually his second as president. He spent day one as Northwest's top administrator at a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association CEO Council meeting in Kansas City. But after today's welcoming events and packed schedule, there is no question that a new era in Northwest's 104-year history has begun.
"Northwest is a great institution," said Jasinski, the University's tenth president. "It's just vibrant, and looking ahead I see nothing but greatness on the horizon."
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468