The 2019 Homecoming season ended a few weeks ago but we continue to hear comments from our alumni about how they enjoyed visiting the campus and meeting our current students. It is truly a joy to see so many people who love Sul Ross come together to celebrate our university and share their passion for it with others.
Although our Fall 2019 semester has been very good academically, we did experience an enrollment drop that affected us financially. To address the shortfall, we made some changes in our strategies toward recruiting efforts and made plans to minimize any further deficits. While we are analyzing the information and making strategic decisions, we remain optimistic and filled with a drive to change this downward trend. I want to assure everyone that we are talking with our students, our faculty, and our staff about ways that we can make positive impacts as we go into our Spring Semester. We remain committed to telling the Sul Ross story so that so many others can enjoy the same passion for the university that we saw from our alumni at Homecoming. Sul Ross often experiences highs and lows in enrollment and we will bounce back. We are a university that offers educational opportunities to students who want to change their lives. We are a university where first generation students and students from all backgrounds learn how to navigate their steps in adulthood. We are a university that proudly encourages our students to learn about grit and determination because we believe in those values. I want you to understand that I am taking this seriously because I understand the value of Sul Ross. I know how higher education can transform futures. As a first generation college student myself, I believe that it is vitally important for students from all backgrounds to find ways to increase their chances for success as adults. I recently received a call from a concerned alum asking what they could do to help Ol’ Sully. I will tell you the same thing we are telling our faculty and staff. We need you to tell your Sul Ross story to prospective students and parents. We need our alumni and friends to be “Sul Ross Ambassadors” so that potential students learn what this university can do for them. The more people learn about Sul Ross, the more they can understand what a special and unique place this is. If you have more ideas, please send them my way.
The holiday season starts next week, I would also like to ask you to consider making Sul Ross a priority for giving back. We have scholarships that go to deserving students who may not otherwise have the funding to go to college. We have academic programs and projects that would benefit from your support. And we have students who would love to receive encouragement from Sul Ross alumni so that they know there is hope for a better tomorrow after graduation. We share a love for this place and my promise to you is that we will meet the challenges head on so that we can come over the mountain stronger than we were before.
I leave you with this quote by John Wesley, that sits on my desk as a daily reminder to myself that I am here because I want to do everything in my power to help Sul Ross thrive now and in the future.
“Do all the good you can.
By all the means you can.
In all the ways you can.
In all the places you can.
At all the times you can.
To all the people you can.
As long as ever you can.”