Western Michigan University’s president says it's launched or expanded several programs to help students thrive.
In the annual "State of the University" address on Friday, September 14, Edward Montgomery says Western has increased peer mentorship for incoming students. He also says Western has changed some introductory courses to encourage student success.
Montgomery says Western helped about 200 students graduate who were close to finishing their degrees but short on money using grants and training in financial literacy.
During his address, Montgomery also said that institutions of higher learning must evolve to succeed. He outlined plans for new student housing and a new student center. Montgomery says Western provides everything from expertise to entertainment to the community. But he says it needs a higher profile. So he says Western is working on plans to better market its "brand."
The "State of the University" address was part of the annual fall Academic Convocation. It also included awards recognizing outstanding faculty members and other university employees.
Professor Stephen Covell, Comparative Religion, and senior mechanical and aerospace engineering technician Peter Thannhauser, received the 2018 WMU Distinguished Service Award.
Distinguished Teaching awards went to Spanish Professor Michael Braun, who died in August, Professor Scott Slawinski of Western's English Department, and Associate Professor of Jazz Studies Scott Cowan.
The annual Emerging Scholar Award for 2018 was presented to Maria Selena O. Protacio, an associate professor of special education and literacy studies. And four WMU staff members won Make a Difference awards: Katie DeCamp in Dining Services; custodian Susan Kramer; Deputy Athletic Director Jeff Stone; and Connie Volenski, an administrative assistant in the Department of Economics.