Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Greetings from French Administration. With the fall semester wrapped up and preparations for the holidays in full swing, we are already planning for what promises to be an exciting 2018. But before we turn the page on 2017, I want to express my gratitude to all of you.

First, I want to thank our faculty. You do an incredible job of educating our students across the state, and beyond. Many of you not only are teachers but also mentors and friends to our students—making yourselves available nearly 24/7 through email, social media, texting, and in-person meetings. You do a stellar job of balancing scholarship, service, and teaching. All outstanding universities are built around a dedicated and gifted set of faculty—we have the best at WSU.

Thanks to our students for choosing WSU. Many of you considered attending other excellent colleges and universities. I appreciate your enthusiasm for your field of study, your passion about being a Coug, your desire to make a difference, and your ability to juggle priorities. I am amazed by how many of you hold jobs while attending school full-time—all the while excelling in and out of the classroom. You are awesome individuals. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your life.

Thanks to our staff members. You are our unsung heroes. We need terrific faculty in our classrooms and talented students on our campuses, but you are the glue that keeps our enterprise humming. From helping someone with a payroll issue to keeping our campuses looking spectacular, from assisting students in myriad ways to bringing a smile to someone on a cloudy day—you make a world of difference.

Thanks to our leadership team, from vice presidents to department chairs, and to everyone in between. We benefit enormously from inspirational leaders across our campuses. You raise funds, find creative ways to do more with less, are expected to be “on” and available virtually all of the time—and maintain a consistently positive attitude. We cannot move WSU to new heights without excellent academic leadership, and we have super leaders.

Finally, thanks to our alumni, donors, and friends for your continued support of all things WSU. You hire our graduates; donate money for scholarships, professorships, and buildings; and advise us about how to ensure our graduates are ready for their next challenge when they leave the University. Your generosity has helped us start a medical school, provide students with needed resources, create our first endowed deanship, and outfit laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment. We deeply appreciate your lifetime dedication to WSU.

It is a true privilege to serve as your president. I look forward to great things ahead at all of our campuses in 2018.

Happy holidays, and Go Cougs!

Kirk