Working Together To Be Colonel

President Patrick Leahy, Guest Writer/Wilkes University President

I want to thank the Beacon editorial staff for providing me with an opportunity to address their readers in the semester’s first edition.  Wilkes University is very fortunate to have such an informative and well read student-run publication.

There is no one more enthusiastic about the start of this semester and of becoming the newest member of the Army of Colonels than I am.  The opportunity to be the president of this extraordinary institution is the highlight of my professional career. I am humbled by the trust everyone has given me and I am energized by the many possibilities to make Wilkes an even better institution.  I also want to thank everyone for the warm welcome you’ve given to my wife, Amy, and my four children. We already feel part of the Wilkes family.

During my first months on the job, I intend to get to know as many people in the Wilkes community as possible. I plan on meeting with every academic and staff department and will be someone students see often at campus and athletic events. With my two young sons in tow, I will be hard to miss.

I also am actively involved in learning what is unique about the academic and co-curricular programs that are at the heart of what we do. My impression so far is that Wilkes is an institution singularly focused on student success. From the professors who take the extra time to collaborate on research with students to the coaches who mentor their athletes after wins and losses  – from the advising staff who carefully craft curricular and co-curricular opportunities for our students to the facilities staff who keep our campus beautiful – everyone one here works in some fashion or another to make our students successful.

I’ve learned that Wilkes is eager to innovate. It’s part of who we are. We know that to keep our education affordable we must be on the lookout for new opportunities. That is why we created an innovative pre-engineering program that allows talented high school students to get an early start on an engineering degree here at Wilkes.

We are a community that cares deeply about each other and I am certain we will build on Wilkes’ tradition of working together to find ways to invest in our academic programs so that both our students and our region continue to thrive.

As many of you know, I will be installed as Wilkes’ sixth president on September 15 at the F.M. Kirby Center. I am extremely grateful for all the help that has gone into making this event special for Wilkes and my family.  There will be several days of celebration that I encourage everyone to attend. The Faculty Scholarship Showcase at the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts promises to be particularly fulfilling.  We will showcase the extraordinary scholarship of our faculty.  This is a can’t-miss event. I also hope to see you at the Campus Installation Party Friday night in the Henry Student Center. Everyone is invited to stop by for refreshments and to enjoy the music.

This coming year will go fast but we will get an enormous amount accomplished. We will graduate students with doctorates in Pharmacy and bachelor’s degrees in English, Engineering and Earth and Environmental Science, to name a few. Underclassmen will advance to the next grade in nursing, accounting, and education.  And along the way, we will do our best to have fun, stay safe and Be Colonel.

Thank you.

Patrick F. Leahy, President