Milestones Signal Time of Great Progress at Wilkes
Wilkes is halfway through our six-year Gateway to the Future strategic plan, and we are making great progress toward our goals. Through the efforts of our campus community, Board of Trustees, alumni, and talented student body, we are positioning Wilkes for the next phase of our continued evolution – becoming one of the nation’s finest small doctoral universities. In just the first few weeks of the fall semester, we celebrated three significant milestones that are evidence of this evolution.
In September, the University’s first Ph.D. program in nursing became a reality. Sixteen students from seven different states will be prepared to educate the next generation of nurses through the program’s rigorous coursework. With the addition of the Ph.D. in nursing, we now offer five terminal degrees that enroll more than 550 students.
Just two weeks later, Wilkes’ commitment to the arts was renewed with the rededication of the Sordoni Art Gallery in its new location at 141 South Main Street, making a bold statement about the importance of the arts at this University. The opening exhibition, “15 Minutes: From Image to Icon,” featured works by internationally-known artist Andy Warhol. In just the first month since the gallery opened its doors, more than 1,000 people have visited the space. It has been such a thrill to see visitors – both art-lovers and novices alike – experience Warhol’s renowned works right here on our campus. This is the beginning of a new era for the Sordoni Art Gallery, during which our students and the community will have the opportunity to view art at Wilkes like never before.
And finally, earlier this semester, I had the distinct honor of writing a letter in support of a senior biology student who is applying for a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. Guided by a faculty member with experience in this highly competitive process, we believe that this is the first time in University history that a Wilkes student will apply for this scholarship. Regardless of the outcome, this effort has elevated the level of academic excellence for all of our students.
I think you will agree that each of these achievements is individually impressive and worthy of celebration; however, when viewed collectively, they signal something greater. Now is a time of great progress at Wilkes, as we layer exciting investments in academics and infrastructure with initiatives that strengthen our foundational values of community and mentorship. I hope that these three examples of our progress make you as proud of Wilkes as I am.
There has never been a better time at Wilkes, and I look forward to celebrating more milestones like these with you in the coming months.
Patrick F. Leahy