The Magazine of the University of Minnesota Duluth

Volume 15 • Number 1 • Winter 1998


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Letter from Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin

As I write this letter for the Winter 1998 issue of The Bridge, the campus is beautiful, covered with freshly fallen snow and the sky is pink as the sun comes up over the state of Wisconsin. Our campus is filled with the color of bright banners flying outside and throughout the Campus Center.

The past year has been an exciting year of opportunity at UMD. Our Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program continues to be one of the top programs in the country. Faculty from throughout the University and all of the colleges participate with under-graduate students in research situations. Students have attended national conferences in Austin, Texas and have testified in Congress on behalf of the research program. This is an extraordinary opportunity for our students, and we are proud of the faculty for the extra time and energy they have contributed in order to involve students in meaningful endeavors in their fields.

The Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) recently received over $4.3 million dollars in federal grants for research on streams and lakes, on the regeneration of forests, and on other areas of major significance to our environment. The Center for Economic Development continues to assist small and medium-sized businesses in northeastern Minnesota by stabilizing and increasing their work force. Last year we had a wonderful celebration with Ambassador Ba' nlaki on campus to present Professor Albert "Bill" Tezla the Pro Cultura Hungarica award for his work in translating Hungarian literature to English.

As I have traveled in many areas of the United States, and have visited with many of you, I have heard of the wonderful opportunities and challenges you faced in the classroom at UMD. Almost everyone mentioned the quality of teaching and the chance to learn, think, and apply knowledge that has been the hallmark of the classroom experience at UMD. You will be pleased to know that this standard continues as evidenced by the undergraduate research program, by the quality of graduate schools our students attend after graduating from UMD and by the students recruited by major corporations. UMD students have told me of excellent opportunities in the College of Science and Engineering to not only do science research, but to step outside the traditional classes and participate in jazz courses and to help in technical theatre. Many students have shared their love of Lake Superior and its transfixing power; they are enriched by their experiences living in Duluth and along our lakeshore.

As we look to the future we must be prepared to take bold action to assure that the educational experience that was meaningful to you continues to be meaningful for today's students. That includes grappling with the issues of      technology, especially for faculty who must keep ahead of the avalanche of information in order to advise students wisely. In education, success is determined by the quality of people involved. We need to maintain that quality, but nonetheless take advantage of the technological advancements the end of the 20th Century has to offer.

As we look to the future, we will become more and more dependent on our alumni and friends to provide support during our annual campaign. We are grateful to the many alumni who have contributed annually to assist us in providing financial aid to our students. Eighty-seven percent of the students at UMD receive some level of financial aid. Many of our students take five and six years to graduate because of the necessity of working not just one or two, but sometimes three jobs. They are fine young people and are all grateful to each of you for the support that you have provided.

We are grateful to the alumni who serve on our Alumni Board, to the many of you who have been willing to assume the responsibility for planning events in your areas of the country, and for your continuing willingness to financially support UMD as we accept the challenge of responding boldly to the issues and opportunities that will define our future.

Please accept my best wishes for a happy and healthy 1998!

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