LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Dear Colleagues, Alumni, and Friends:
I write you as we begin what we expect to be a banner year for Rust College. We have almost 300 bright-eyed, enthusiastic first-year students enrolled in our annual preschool preparation program, the Oasis Program. They are now being oriented to the college, to college life; introduced to good study and classroom participation habits; getting acquainted with recreational and sports activities; and beginning enhancement workshops in math, reading, and writing to prepare them for success in the fall semester. It is with a sense of great privilege that we accept our obligation to nurture them, help them succeed, remain in school, graduate, and go on to serve the greater society as so many of our prior students have done.
We have welcomed them to living quarters restored to clean, healthy and safe standards over the summer and best of all a fresh new coat of paint in bright and cheerful colors in all the residence halls. We encourage you to visit the campus to look over our residence halls and student life facilities. As part of responsible stewardship we have been very deliberate in spending dollars available for our facilities. Projects that enhance the practical experience of student life will get top priority as we plan for the future. With the Board of Trustees we are in the early stages of organizing for a major capital campaign that will lead to further improved and new student residential facilities over the next few years.
As you may know, in a time when many small colleges are experiencing great financial difficulty and even failing, Rust College enjoys a stable and dependable financial operating condition. We are justly proud of our many long years of financial health, carefully managed in support of our mission for the education and development of our young people. Unlike some of our peers who rushed into large capital expenditures and created debt they could not survive, our pay-as-you-go philosophy has allowed us to maintain our financial health and provide a sound platform for the future. To our great satisfaction, Rust College has been recognized in national studies by Forbes Magazine and by the UNCF as one of the top schools in the country in financial management and health.
We are excited to welcome some accomplished new faculty members to our Rust College family this year including Dr. Shawnta Chatman, in chemistry, Ms. Carmen Anderico, in Spanish, Dr. Arlandra Harvey, as choir director and professor in music, Mr. Byron Chatman, band director and music, and Ms. Jasmine Stansberry, in history. They all will bring added value quality to our academic program. We are glad to say that the Rev. Annie Travis, who was so loved and respected in her previous time as our college chaplain, is returning to us in that same position. The year will bring many special projects and entertainment/educational activities such as the Youth Theology Institute, a student research project: Writing Reconstruction – Humanities for the Public Good, the Inaugural Ida B. Wells-Barnett Social Justice Spring Distinguished Lectures, and a stimulating lineup of Lyceum programs across the academic year.
We take great pleasure in the generations of our graduates who serve the world at large and have reached stellar heights in their careers and lives. We expect nothing less from our current students. It is my privilege to serve our beloved institution as president as I have for the past 26 successful years.
I thank you for being an important part of our family and invite you to join in support as we enter the future together with great confidence for the next 150 years.
David L. Beckley
President, Rust College