It is late fall on Grymes Hill, and soon many of us will be headed to holiday celebrations with family and friends. As I prepare to do the same, I have been spending much time tending to the many renovation and repair projects that we are undertaking here on campus.
None of these is more visible than the work we are doing on Main Hall. The beloved architectural icon of Wagner College, Main Hall has served our students, faculty, and staff for more than eight decades. But, for some time, it has been in need of care and attention. Earlier this year, I gave the approval to begin the work to restore this campus symbol to its former elegance, security, and soundness. Once we have restored the integrity of the building, and it is again weather- and waterproof, we can begin in earnest to consider the restoration of the interior.
I think we will all be pleased with the result of the work once it is complete. Please consider participating in this year's annual fund, which will be used, in part, to support this project.
Securing a building like Main Hall helps us to continue the most important work that we do here: providing a solid start to the young men and women who come to Wagner. Recently, I received more evidence that the Wagner Plan, our innovative curriculum, equips our students with just that kind of preparation.
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) collects information about student learning and personal development at hundreds of colleges and universities. What we have found most useful about NSSE is the opportunity to compare our students' performance with those in peer groups. Not surprisingly, Wagner students placed significantly higher than other students in the comparison groups.
Wagner students outperformed national averages in four NSSE benchmark categories: level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, and enriching educational experiences. Drilling down into these benchmarks, we see that our students outscored comparison groups in areas that include participation in community projects, working on research with a faculty member outside of a course (by a large margin), performing community service or volunteer work, and completing a practicum, internship, or clinical assignment.
Such results are not only gratifying and encouraging, but additional proof that the Wagner Plan is an effective curriculum that prepares students for the world.
I invite you back to campus to visit with our incredible students, and to see the work we are doing. I wish you the best for a wonderful holiday season and a very happy, healthy, and productive new year.
President, Wagner College