Alverno President Andrea Lee, IHM, PhD

From the President: Fall 2018

Colleagues, alumnae, and friends of Alverno,

The lovely photograph of student liturgical dancer Janie Brown-Boston on the cover of the fall 2018 issue of Alverno Magazine fills me with joy and pride as I begin this letter.

On a recent visit to Milwaukee, my son asked me “So, mom, when are you gonna retire?” “Not any time soon,” I answered quickly. “Too much exciting stuff going on here!” This Alverno Magazine highlights just a few examples of what gets me up and going every morning: New and re-imagined academic programs, impressive student and faculty achievements, progress on moving beyond our campus boundaries through distance learning options, and generous and encouraging support from alumnae like Carol Dolphin ’62 and others. Of greatest importance, our Catholic and Franciscan traditions and how they inspire Alverno graduates to be a force for good in the world.

You’ll see a lot more over the next couple of months, all of it making concrete the key strategies for Alverno’s future that we revealed in our strategic plan:

  • Strengthen Alverno’s Weekday College for women — our heart and center — by building graduate and non-traditional programs around it to expand enrollment and meet market demand
  • Serve the students we serve best, especially those with less than optimal access to post-secondary opportunities
  • Play to our traditional academic strengths that match up with emerging market and workforce needs and do that by nurturing and growing our trees:
    1. Significantly expand Alverno’s health care footprint in urban and rural Wisconsin, especially to address critical primary care and mental health needs
    2. Contribute innovative and cost-effective ways to strengthen K-12 education in the region, especially in Milwaukee
    3. Enhance educational opportunities for high-ability students, especially through research opportunities and high-profile, resume-enhancing internships
    4. Create a flexible and market responsive structure through the School of Adult Learning and New Initiatives to engage adult and non-traditional students in educational opportunities that are flexible, driven by market demand, and embrace stackable credentials in new ways

This issue highlights some of these ventures and adventures: a new Physician Assistant program now in the design and accreditation stage; new degree options for nurse practitioners in critical areas of practice; a reimagined Campus Ministry initiative that invites students, faculty, staff and alumnae to connect their education, work and lives beyond Alverno to their faith and deepest values; an introduction to our newest “hit the ground running” senior leaders, Andrea Petrie and Robin Hansen; the entrepreneurial spirit — alive and growing at Alverno and the fabulous news of a new grant to support emerging women scientists, along with “über energetic” teacher Desiree Pointer Mace spreading “Alverno in Argentina.” Oh, and be sure to meet and admire Sister Ruth Hoerig, OSF, social media maven for the School Sisters of St. Francis. Round it out with another long gaze at the front cover. Brown-Boston is inviting you in, asking you to come closer to Alverno and to see what we’re up to. I’m inviting you, too, just not as elegantly!

As we approach Thanksgiving, please know how grateful we are for everything you do to help Alverno — your time, your financial support and, of course, your presence in the world. You are the highest value and most treasured advertisement we have! As for your presence in the world, it’s not hard to see how very much the Alverno spirit we encounter every day in our students, faculty, staff, alumnae and friends is so desperately needed. We are eager to share more of that beautiful spirit!

Blessings and peace to all.


This letter originally appeared in the fall 2018 issue of Alverno Magazine.

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