President Henry S. Bienen
Photo by Andrew Campbell
Looking Back — and Forward
Dear Northwestern Alumni,
This month, the 150th entering class of undergraduate students will begin its
Students and their families clearly value a Northwestern degree. The University's reputation as one of the best academic institutions in the country stems to a great extent from our truly distinguished faculty and outstanding current students, but it also is the result of the continuing work of our alumni, who are leaders in so many fields.
We continue to seek to enroll at all levels a diverse group of students, ethnically, geographically and economically. For the first time this year, we began offering a limited amount of need-based financial aid to international students, resulting in an increasingly diverse group of undergraduates from around the world. In addition, we continue to meet the full demonstrated financial need of
Northwestern began 150 years ago with one all-purpose building, but this fall marks the beginning for three more specialized, but also important buildings for the University. On the
I used to think that at some point we would be finished with major construction on campus. I now realize, however, that construction on a university campus is a never-ending project, mainly because the needs of a dynamic institution such as Northwestern are always changing. These buildings, and other major projects that we hope to begin in the near future including a new life sciences building, a new music building and an expansion of the student center are visible symbols of the University's important dual missions of teaching and research. Northwestern is somewhat unusual in that it does both of these things extraordinarily well, and in order to continue to do that, we need to provide the appropriate facilities and support.
The results of that support are apparent in the remarkable achievements of our students and faculty in the past academic year. We once again had a student or recent graduate receive one of only 40 Marshall Scholarships nationally when Ankur Bahl (J03, GJ04) was awarded one. In addition, our debate team captured the National Debate Tournament championship, the 13th by our debaters and the seventh in the last 12 years.
Chad A. Mirkin, George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry and director of the Institute for Nanotechnology, received the NIH Director's Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health. The award recognizes exceptional researchers who have highly innovative ideas in biomedical research. Professor Mirkin was one of only nine awardees from the approximately 1,000 nominations NIH received from around the country and the only awardee from the
I also must note the truly exciting success of the women's lacrosse team, which last spring captured the NCAA championship, the first Northwestern athletic team to do so since men's fencing in 1941. The national championship in lacrosse capped a year that saw the Wildcats also win an individual NCAA championship, two Big Ten titles, place 10 teams in NCAA championship tournaments and earn 13 first-team All-America honors and three Academic All-America awards.
I hope you will join me in supporting our athletic teams and attend one of these athletic events or one of the many alumni events that feature talks by some of our top faculty members. I very much enjoy the opportunity to meet and chat with Northwestern alumni around the country. I also hope that you will continue to support Northwestern financially and through your volunteer work on behalf of the University. The consistent support of our alumni is critical to our ability to provide financial assistance to needy students, attract outstanding faculty and offer educational opportunities beyond the classroom. Assisted by your support, we will continue our efforts to make this great university even better.
Henry S. Bienen