[IMAGE: Pacific Lutheran Scene] 
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A Letter from the

An Annual Report provides the opportunity to reflect on the past year, to look ahead and to say thank you. Toward those ends, I offer the following: 1996-1997 was a year of good news at PLU.

Most of all, good news regarding the class of 1997. Our graduates included five Fulbright Scholars, three Rotary Scholars and one Rhodes Finalist. Our graduates left our campus well-prepared and headed for a strong job market.

1996-1997 was a year of good news for the PLU schoolhouse as well. The Culpeper Language Resource Center opened in the fall; the completion of the Mary Baker Russell Music Center was commenced; the first two phases of the Gottfried and Mary Fuchs Organ were completed; the Names Court was dedicated in Olson Auditorium; and renovations to the swimming pool were completed.

And financially, 1996-1997 brought to a close the tremendously successful Make A Lasting Difference campaign with a total of more than $72 million raised.

As we look to the future, there are great possibilities ahead:

Our continuing commitment to Academic Distinction finds new focus in active learning and the integration of liberal arts and professional education. This academic distinction will be seen as the curriculum of the liberal arts seeks to relate knowledge of a discipline to real-world applications. It will be seen as the curricula of the professional schools seek to develop graduates who are both accomplished in their real-world skills and yet well versed in the attitudes, skills and content of the liberal arts that will ensure their degrees go well beyond the technical skill of their profession.

The continued emphasis on academic distinction ensures that our graduates will be prepared to live and work in the challenges of the 21st century.

With the adoption of the PLU 2000 Framework Master Plan, a plan is now in place to guide capital planning in support of curricular strategy. Two such projects are being given immediate serious study: the remodeling of Eastvold and the renovation of Xavier Hall. Both plans endeavor to facilitate the work of the faculty as it strengthens the university's academic distinctiveness.

Interwoven with the plans for academic distinction and capital renovations is the university's Technology Plan. The establishment of more technological equipment in offices and classrooms is underway. In addition, and of great interest, are the curricular possibilities that accompany the existence of "smart classrooms" and class assignments conducted via the Internet.

The vision of the three plans just outlined foretells an exciting period in the history of the university. It is a vision created on a basis of financial stability that hundreds have worked hard to provide over the past years. Without that strong foundation and an endowment now in the $25 million range, such vision for the future would be forestalled with issues of basic survival. The sincere appreciation of a thankful university is to be conveyed to each one of you who contributed to the success of this year. This vision is a statement of confidence in what PLU has been and what PLU is striving to be in the century ahead.

In the articles of this issue, it is my hope that you will catch a glimpse of the vision of the university in the years ahead that weaves curricular distinctiveness with renovated facilities and technologies of the future. It is truly a time of good news and of great possibilities.

Loren J. Anderson

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Source: Pacific Lutheran Scene, Fall 1997
Edited by: Linda Elliott, Summer Senior Editor (elliotlm@plu.edu)
Maintained by: Webmaster (webmaster@plu.edu).
Last Update: 12/09/97