Investing in Our Future
A significant share of the alumni base for the overall University is affiliated with the College of Arts and Sciences. We have more than 60,000 living alumni on record and are poised to add several hundred more at the commencement ceremony in December.
It’s true that most of the time our graduates identify first with the institution as a whole (Go Cougs!) and second with their particular department or program (e.g., mathematics or English). The college, however, has an important role to play in bridging these two identities and extending the broad interdisciplinary experience and education students receive at WSU. To assist in this endeavor, we have brought together the CAS Leadership Advisory Council: a working committee of 30 diverse alumni, parents, former professors, and community leaders who care deeply about our college, our students, and ultimately our institution.
These exceptional volunteers hold degrees running the gamut from art to zoology and are active in everything from local government and services to software companies and wineries to venture capital funds.
At our first meeting last month in Seattle, we brought the council up to speed on the strategic goals of the college and curriculum updates, as well as college initiatives in commercialization, communication, and student leadership and research opportunities.
And then we asked for their help. Four task groups broke out to generate ideas about how they themselves could help increase engagement with CAS alumni and also with the campus community, improve recognition of our world-class faculty, and increase contributions to The Campaign for Washington State University.
The CAS Leadership Advisory Council members believe in the work we do every day and are set to become our advocates in circles that reach far beyond our campus borders. In an era of ever-shrinking state support, we need to muster the support and varied resources of all ranks of society to continue to meet the needs of Cougars for generations to come.
We will be working with the Leadership Advisory Council and the task groups throughout the coming year and plan to meet again next April in Pullman. We hope they will be able to join all of us for our annual College of Arts and Sciences Recognition Social on April 16.
I am thankful for the contributions of the council and for the day-to-day excellence of my colleagues across the college. Together, we can continually improve the student experience and expand the University’s impact on our state, the nation, and the world.