A Message from Lendley C. (Lynn) Black, UMD Chancellor
Greetings Alumni and Friends:
It’s a pleasure and a privilege to become a member of the UMD family: to join this world-class center for learning and research, and, most importantly, to work closely with its outstanding faculty, staff and students, and with alumni and friends. Over the next months, I look forward to meeting with many more of you to get a sense of how the University of Minnesota Duluth can better deliver a high quality education to our students and impact the larger community. I truly believe the more helpful we can be to our community – to our region – and to the world — the better UMD will be as well.
This magazine features many of the recent accomplishments of UMD, its donors, and alumni. It includes a story about Scott Anderson who visited campus last fall. Scott is a UMD economics graduate and a director and senior economist at Wells Fargo. He was named one of the 10 top economic forecasters in the country. During his speech, he said that he is living proof that you can receive a world-class education at UMD.
Another feature in the magazine highlights our diverse student body. I have been able to meet many of the students featured here and have been delighted to work with them on educational and humanitarian events. I grew up in a segregated neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee and was in high school in the late 1960s when Memphis became a focal point of the civil rights movement. I remember very clearly the night Dr. King was killed in Memphis and the shameful way many in my all-white suburb reacted. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I grew up with many privileges in Memphis because of the color of my skin. I share this with you to emphasize my commitment to a university campus of inclusion and opportunity for all of our students, faculty, and staff. We all, myself included, have much to do and to learn in order to create the inclusive and civil environment that we all deserve. We will not reach our full potential academically, until we have a campus that values the contributions and understands the differences that we all bring to our distinctive learning environment.
There is much to celebrate. Our arts programming has a major impact on the cultural life of Duluth and Northeast Minnesota, and now has an international reach. We are pleased to announce the theatre production The Tragical History of Richard III has been selected as one of five plays in a six-state region for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Region V Festival. This is the fifth time in ten years that UMD Theatre has been chosen to participate at this prestigious festival.
Our sports programs are second to none. The football team has given us an exciting fall, winning the NCAA Div. II National Championship with just seconds to spare. In addition to football, as we go to print, we have four top national rankings in men’s hockey, women’s hockey, and women’s volleyball, and our women’s soccer team is tied for first place in our conference. I encourage you to support these programs and enjoy their successes.
Our research efforts through many academic areas and through our institutes and centers like the Natural Resources Research Institute and the Large Lakes Observatory, Sea Grant, etc., are producing new products and strategies to improve the environment of our region and to improve our quality of life. We hope to acquire funding this year for a new building for our American Indian Learning Resource Center, which will allow us to expand the excellence of this center.
Because we need to work together to make sure that we are focused on a vision and mission that serves us well now and in the future, we are starting a new strategic planning process that will help craft a new vision for UMD and help us meet the challenges of the difficult financial realities facing higher education today.
I am here to listen, to learn, and to work hard to ensure that UMD continues to be a strong leader in providing the higher education opportunities that our students, Duluth, and Minnesota deserve and expect. And we need your help. By listening to you and gathering opinions from our many stakeholders, we will think creatively, not settle for where we are, and determine how we will move UMD forward to new heights of excellence as a premiere academic institution.
Many people have asked me what drew me to UMD. I was looking for a strong educational institution with a promising future. I found this and more at UMD. UMD indeed has a rich academic tradition, dating back to its founding as the Duluth Normal School in 1895. When I looked closer at UMD, I learned that the campus is a focal point for regional economic development, while also serving as a major cultural center for Minnesota.
Duluth is a beautiful city, and Lake Superior is a powerful draw. Connie and I had our photograph taken last fall by the arches of Old Main, a lasting symbol of UMD’s long history in the Duluth community, and the backyard of our home links us with this historic campus. UMD’s alumni are the living history of our university, and I want to thank you for being such powerful advocates for your alma mater. I also thank those of you who are not UMD alumni, but commit your time, talents, and financial support to help ensure our future.
— Dr. Lendley C. (Lynn) Black. UMD Chancellor
Photo --- Back row (l-r) J.D. Holmquist, Amy Yang, Judy Bruer, Melanie McKenzie, Brian Robertson, Kate Christopherson. Front row: Kyle Watson, Andrew Gani, Anna Hewitt, Dr. Lendley (Lynn) Black, Andrea Lares.