The magazine for Western Washington University
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President's Message

WWU's active minds are changing lives around the world

By Bruce Shepard | WWU President

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Martin Waidelich

I never get tired of talking about the excellence at Western, from the inspired achievements of our students to our outstanding faculty and the hands-on research opportunities they provide.

Western is increasingly recognized around the country as a premier, destination university. Demand for admission this fall was high, with 11,600 applications from across the state and the country for 3,571 openings.

Examples of Western’s excellence abound in Window magazine. But this edition of Window takes you a step further, showing not only the excellence of Western but the tangible accomplishments by Western students, faculty and alumni that are changing the world.

This year, students at Western’s Vehicle Research Institute finished in the top 10 in the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE competition, a contest to build an easily mass-produced 100 mpg automobile. The only other U.S. universities to enter this 140-team international competition were MIT and Cornell. Western students are at the forefront of a revolution in automotive transportation.

You can read about Mike Town ('84 and '85), whose

achievements in environmental education are simply incredible. The article is written by Western alumnus William Dietrich (’73), a Western faculty member who won a Pulitzer Prize with the Seattle Times. Or learn about the globally important research of faculty member Dana Jack on depression in women and “self-silencing.” The dedication of alumna Kerrie Golden (’89) illustrates how we must embrace the return of our wounded veterans, who have made great and steadfast sacrifices in defense of our nation.

These are notable but certainly not isolated examples. As Western alumni fan out across the state, nation and world they make significant contributions to their communities. Western students, faculty, staff and alumni excel because that is part of our culture. You do more than just hope for a better world – you make it so, with passion, integrity and, above all else, the conviction you will make a difference. Western truly is about active minds changing lives.

Thank you very much for your service.