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Dear Colleagues:

NKU’s passion and commitment to serving students and the region were on full display this past week.

I want to extend my sincere thanks to all of you who helped organize both our Spring Convocation and the NKU MLK Day of Service.  And to all of you who attended these inspiring events, thank you.

This past Friday, we celebrated Spring Convocation with the documentary film, Unlikely: In Pursuit of a Better U. The film, which “investigates the college dropout crisis and the systemic barriers students face in their pursuit of an education and livable-wage career,” was viewed by a large crowd of students, faculty, staff and community members. An enlightening panel discussion, moderated by Mary Stagaman, Senior Inclusion Advisor for the Greater Cincinnati Chamber, ensued and included Ande Durojaiye, NKU Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs; Tim Hanner, founder and president of NaviGo College and Career Prep Services; Brandelyn Tosolt, associate professor in NKU’s department of Teacher Education; and NKU students Janiah Miller (Integrative Studies) and Cyndy Rodewald (Social Work). We will schedule follow-up conversations with the campus community to discuss ideas and lessons we can draw from the stories we heard that morning.

Special thanks go to Jason Vest, along with Eric Gentry, Samantha Langley, Dan Nadler, Mark Neikirk, Tom Ramstetter, Gina Rittinger and Kathleen Roberts, for their hard work in organizing Spring Convocation.

On Monday, more than 600 students, faculty and staff came together to commemorate Martin Luther King Day of Service by lending a hand throughout the region and on campus. It was a powerful experience for all of us, and I appreciate everyone who volunteered their time to such an important day.

This day would not have been possible without the tremendous work of organizers for the event, Carlous Yates, Tiffany, Mayse, and Nick Bliven, as well as numerous individuals and groups across campus who contributed to the day’s success.

I am continually moved by NKU’s commitment to changing people’s lives, but, of course, none of this is a surprise. Every day, our university lives the core values of excellence, integrity, inclusiveness, innovation and collegiality. It was my pleasure to share in these powerful experiences with you, and I look forward to the spring semester ahead as we focus on continuing to shape the success of our students aligned with the needs of the region.

Sincerely yours,