When selecting an overarching theme for the new five-year plan for Methodist University, the Strategic Planning Committee’s consensus was “Building on a Culture of Excellence.” How could this group comprised of trustees, faculty, staff and students make such a bold assertion? One has to look no further than the highlights of this the fifth and final year of the current Strategic Plan to validate this claim. Here are just a few highlights:
Excellence in Health Sciences. Our nationally-recognized Physician Assistant Program attracted nearly 600 applications for 40 openings for the fall of 2015. Our Nursing Program has graduated its second class and received unconditional accreditation. The new Doctor of Physical Therapy Program will enroll the full maximum of 40 students in its inaugural class this fall.
Excellence in Music. A highlight of the rapidly expanding music program was the MU Chorale’s first-ever European Tour, which included performing in Saint-Avold, France – Fayetteville’s sister city.
Excellence in Globalization. A record number of students traveled abroad this past year on four continents. This included two new MU study centers in Wales and Italy. The University also attracted a record number of international students – 160 from 55 different countries.
Excellence in Visiting Speakers. This spring witnessed campus visits from two internationally known leaders in their fields. Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer-prize winning historian and author, delivered the Presidential Lecture in April. May graduates and their guests were addressed by PBS News Hour anchor Judy Woodruff. Both are wonderful role models for our students, underscoring our leadership and communications programs.
Excellence in Facilities. As the University completes the Armstrong Baseball Fieldhouse, the new Thomas R. McLean Health Science Building is under roof and on schedule to open in January 2016. Over the past five years, 13 buildings on campus were either renovated or constructed.
Excellence in Athletics. Leading the way was Men’s Golf, which won the NCAA Division III National Championship in mid-May, the 11th time in program history. For the second consecutive year, the Monarchs won the President’s Trophy for the best overall program and for the best men’s program in the USA South Athletic Conference. Baseball won the conference championship this spring and made an NCAA post-season appearance. Finally, the Cheer Squad has won back-to-back National Championships.
Excellence in Philanthropy. The $35 million Building Excellence Campaign recently surpassed the $34 million mark, with more than a year to go before its completion on June 30, 2016. This fund drive has helped ensure excellence through support of new facilities and endowment.
Excellence in People. This is where MU truly excels. As you would expect from a quality institution, Methodist is people-centered. Signature people define excellence in the most important way of all. From an outstanding Board of Trustees to inspiring faculty and caring staff, Methodist University delivers the gold!
With such a solid foundation of excellence achieved over the past year, Methodist University is poised for even greater accomplishments in the next. Excellence is more than a slogan at MU. It has become a tradition, a mindset, and an expectation. And to think, the best is yet to be!