Since becoming Wilkes’ new president, I’m frequently asked to outline my priorities in leading the University. In this issue of Wilkes magazine, you’ll have a chance to read about my work in a feature story. But I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about one of my goals – and how our Wilkes alumni can help to achieve it.
Growing enrollment is a win-win for everyone. For a tuition-driven institution like Wilkes, healthy enrollment supports financial stability, allowing us to provide the great education that all Wilkes graduates prize. Resources for recruiting and retaining talented faculty, providing new facilities and the latest technology, and keeping college affordable are all tied, directly or indirectly, to meeting our goals for enrolling good students.
Many factors are involved in recruiting students, from marketing to developing unique academic offerings and innovative programs. One that is too seldom addressed is the role that alumni can play in attracting students to Wilkes. As Wilkes president, I’ve talked about the extraordinary loyalty of our alumni. I’m blessed that so many graduates remember their time here with pride. The strong tradition of legacy families at Wilkes – families with more than one generation attending the University – confirms this commitment. Alumni, by the nature of their accomplishments and career success, are a testimony to the value of the education they received here.
We encourage our alumni to volunteer on behalf of the University, serving on boards and committees and mentoring current Wilkes students. Now it’s time to think about tapping our alumni to help raise Wilkes profile among prospective students. If you have a friend or neighbor with a college-age child, urge them to consider Wilkes if the opportunity arises. If you’re interviewed in the media about a career achievement, consider mentioning Wilkes and how a professor here mentored you. If you participate in a job-shadowing program or career day for high school students in your community, don’t hesitate to tell them that Wilkes is a great place to get an education.
Our alumni can talk about their own experiences and influence prospective students to take a look at Wilkes. When it comes to recruiting our next generation of Colonels, no one can do it with more passion and enthusiasm than our alumni.
Thank you for your continued support.
Dr. Patrick F. Leahy
Wilkes University President