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Annual Report 2013-14

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President's Message

nunez.jpgThis 2013-2014 Annual Report highlights the past year at Eastern Connecticut State University. It focuses on the accomplishments of our students and faculty, who brought pride and recognition to our campus community through their work on campus, in our local community, and in regional, national, and international settings. Their achievements reaffirmed the value and relevance of a liberal arts education in today's complex world.

Sept. 3, 2013, marked the beginning of our 125th year anniversary, and we celebrated our rich history with a series of on-campus events, community activities, publications and other projects to highlight Eastern's progress since its beginnings in 1889. The anniversary celebration culminates with our 125th Commencement Exercises in May 2015.

This past year was also the first year in our next strategic planning cycle; the 2013-18 Strategic Plan created a new blueprint for our future that focused on five goals: maximizing the value of an Eastern degree; strengthening academic programs; enhancing learning by providing students with additional experiential learning experiences; providing personal and professional development opportunities for all members of the campus community; and increasing public awareness of the University's unique public liberal arts mission.

Throughout the year, as documented in these pages, Eastern's faculty provided leadership in a multitude of ways - coordinating service projects in our local community; mentoring students on nationally recognized research projects; conducting their own research, scholarship and creative pursuits; and implementing new academic majors and other innovations on campus.

Through their efforts and the support provided by staff through our campus departments and offices, Eastern was recognized by numerous state, regional and national groups; perhaps the most significant was again being ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 30 public universities in the North Region-an area that covers from Maine to Maryland and west to the Pennsylvania/Ohio border.

We also invested in our future in 2013-14, breaking ground on a new 118,000 square-foot Fine Arts Instructional Center that will open in January 2016. Our goal is to make this a cultural center for the entire eastern Connecticut region.

A University's "bottom line" is making good on its commitment to graduating students. Not only is Eastern's graduation rate at an all-time high, but I continue to be touched by the personal notes, emails and phone calls I receive weekly from alumni, proud of their alma mater and eager to share their success with us. Eastern's liberally educated graduates continue to forge professional careers, while serving their own communities as engaged citizens.

Do take a moment to look back at the stellar year that the Eastern family has experienced. Share this publication with friends and family, and feel free to 'brag' about Eastern.

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Elsa M. Núñez
President