Executive Women's MBA students visit the Nasdaq during New York residency.

Commitment to students drives achievements

From the moment of my first interview with the presidential search committee, I knew that Brenau is a special place. This certainly has been confirmed this past year. Even during the challenging days of addressing the coronavirus, Brenau University finished the 2019-20 academic year with an array of accomplishments and a host of reasons for celebration. Brenau’s strong ethos of an absolute commitment to the care and success of each student drives our achievements.

Dr. Anne Skleder

The heart and soul of a university is its faculty and staff committed to the education of each student. Many of these educators, administrators and staff are respected experts in their professional fields — experts who have and could be running successful businesses, dedicating their lives to research or flourishing in private practices. Instead, they have chosen to answer the noble call to challenge and support students as we’re changing the trajectory of their lives.

Overcoming adversity and obstacles while embracing new opportunities is a Brenau hallmark, and my colleagues have especially demonstrated their collected mettle during demanding days. Even as we are in the midst of a new academic year, I want to take this time to reflect on some of our accomplishments as we prepare our students to successfully take on the challenges of their professions.

COVID-19 continues to cause unprecedented disruption in higher education. Building on our more than 20-year reputation as a higher education leader with extensive expertise in digital learning, we pivoted to remote learning and support with minimal disruption with our students receiving the full benefit of their academic efforts. This transition also has yielded strong innovation in the way some of our heretofore on-ground only classes are successfully presenting online content. This innovation will continue to become more robust over time.

In addition to the Department of Psychology being elevated to the Lynn J. Darby School of Psychology and Adolescent Counseling, due to the generosity of Doug and Kay Ivester that you can read about in greater detail in this issue, here is a sampling of other significant academic achievements from the past year:

  • The Women’s College launched the GOLD program with a successful speaker series and events celebrating sisterhood and the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.
  • Last spring, we received the official notification that the BFA in Interior Design, the undergraduate degree program, was re-accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation for another six years.
  • The Executive Women’s MBA began in January. The first residency was held in New York City in early 2020. The cohort is strong, the faculty excellent, and the community they are building tightly knit and mutually supportive.
  • With a beautiful facility completed downtown, a highly credentialed group of faculty recruited and a strong class and a waiting list, we are moving forward to implement the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies in January, which will meet a critical need in our community and beyond.

Our academic and other accomplishments are too many to list here, so I encourage you to check them out on our website at brenau.edu/highlights.

All we do at Brenau is focused on student success. This success is evident in the contributions that many of our students along with faculty, staff and alumni have made and continue to make on the front lines of battling COVID-19. I am humbled and inspired by their actions.

The challenges of the day are indeed immense, but through any measure, I can assure you that Brenau is up to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

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