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It was a great year to be a Wildcat!

President Marysz Rames, Guest Columnist

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As the semester winds down and we each prepare to recharge and take on the new opportunities in front of us, I want to take this opportunity to reflect on the past academic year in the service of gratitude for and optimism about this great college community.

It is not an understatement to say the past nine months have been marked by leadership, service, growth, and positive momentum.

I must begin by singling out the great variety of leadership common to Wayne State this year. To you, our students, I owe a deep debt of gratitude for the remarkable ways you served our college. From the student leaders with whom I met each month, to the Student Senate, Student Activities Board, Student Athlete Advisory Council, Residence Hall Association, and the students who selflessly served as vital members of the General Studies Task Force and Budget Advisory Task Force: Thank you for your keen insights, active participation in the life of this college, and the volunteer spirit that colors your commitment to stepping outside of your daily lives, course work and athletic commitments to make a difference for Wayne State.

I am also called to express my sincere appreciation of all of the students who took the lessons gained in their programs of study and applied them to our community through Service-Learning.

Your efforts improved literacy, preserved historical records, beautified Wayne, provided area school children with the chance to explore the cosmos, enhanced the lives of senior citizens, supported local businesses, and promoted wellness.

To the Pride of Wayne State College Wildcat Marching Band, Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, Mariachi Negro y Oro, Flag Corps, Dance Team, and our theater students who delighted thousands of local school children with several performances of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: I cannot begin to say enough about the talent and dedication you each display in your performances and contributions to the vibrant cultural life of the college. Your ability to work so hard in rehearsals and practice while carrying a full load of classes is a testament to your commitment to education inside and outside the classroom.

To our student athletes, cheerleaders, trainers, coaches, and Cat-backers: Thank you for the opportunity to join you on fields, courts, and tracks for another great year of Wildcat sports.

Your dedication to your teams coupled with your achievements in the classroom set us apart from so many colleges around the region and make it quite easy for us to say “It’s a Great Day to be a Wildcat!”

Much is owed in tribute to the hundreds of students who earned Dean’s List recognition this past year. I have talked to enough of you to know how busy you are outside of class with jobs, families, and extracurricular activities. The fact that you can do all of these things while earning a 3.5 GPA is a remarkable achievement.

Finally, I want to thank each of you who signed the petition supporting the college during the Nebraska State Legislature budget debate.

Your support played a critically important role as the Nebraska State College System made the case for preserving the funding for Wayne State. Your heartfelt comments underlined the importance of the college not just for our state legislators, but for the many faculty, staff, and alumni connected to Wayne State.

To those of you about to graduate, I salute you for hitting this great milestone in your lives. While it seems as if it is an ending, please know that it is but a beginning…a chance to take what you have learned and go make your mark on our world. Congratulations, Class of 2018!

I want to close by also thanking the many faculty, professional staff, support staff, and Wayne community members who worked hand in hand with me this year. The year has been marked by rapid change, growth, and positive momentum. Your contributions have allowed us to reshape our curriculum, add many exciting new academic programs, raise new facilities, and ignite a spirit of optimism for the future of Wayne State College. Go Cats!

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It was a great year to be a Wildcat!