View the archives!
Anne Grulich, editor
Phone: (240) 895-2160
18952 East Fisher Road
St. Mary's City, MD 20686
Every college and university with which I have been affiliated has had a love-hate relationship with “the rankings.” On the one hand, yes, we all like to be ranked high and if we rise in any ranking, we feel good and are likely to tell people about it. On the other hand, as educators, we know that what matters more than a ranking is the appropriateness of a particular institution for a particular young man or woman seeking a college education. There are plenty of good reasons why a school ranked #1, 25, or 99 might be the absolute wrong choice for a student; there are also reasons why a school with no ranking will be the best possible choice for another student.
If the ranking of St. Mary’s College of Maryland by a magazine or newspaper can help us understand where we need to work harder, or where we are doing well, we are grateful for the input. But nothing can take the place of a young person visiting our campus, talking to our faculty and students, and deciding whether this residential, public honors college is the right place for him or her to pursue a liberal arts education.
We’d like for that prospective student to hear about the interesting things our faculty do, like Michael J.G. Cain, professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, who will spend the spring 2011 semester in China on a Fulbright lecture scholarship, researching energy reforms in China. We’d like that young person to know about our alumni who put their liberal arts values to work in the world through the Peace Corps or through scholarship as these current Fulbrights are doing: Mikey Church ’04 (Tajikistan), Kevin Beanland ’02 (Greece), Betsy Anthony ’93 (Austria), and Allison Dale ’10 (Morocco).
An annual report is one where numbers help tell the story of the successes and the challenges an institution has had during the year. Stakeholders who’ve invested in the institution look to the annual report for confirmation that their investment is worthwhile. Alumni, parents, and friends of St. Mary’s College of Maryland—you are our stakeholders—and I am pleased to say that in our 170th year of operation, our numbers (like our alumni) demonstrate the value of a St. Mary’s education:
It is my first year as St. Mary’s president. In August, I welcomed 448 students to the Class of 2014. I have a special tie with this first-year class, and recall the advice I gave to them during opening Convocation: “Remember that what lies within you is your best asset, and know that you are surrounded by some of this generation’s very best minds, including your own.” As stewards of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, I thank all of you who put your best selves forward to preserve the legacy of this very special place.