Travels and Adventures
One of the best things about being a part of “Kangaroo Nation” is that there are friends in every port. I recently traveled to London with Larry (he had been invited to give several performances and lectures). While there, I was able to have dinner with several of our current students who are spending the semester abroad. We were joined by a few expatriate alumni, too. It was fascinating to see the Austin College commitment to global education in action.
It always amazes me that when Kangaroos gather—no matter their generation or the location—the communication always turns to the incredible foundation Austin College provides for its students. Over and over again, I hear stories about special professors, incredibly challenging but rewarding courses, and great adventures in foreign lands. Even more meaningful are the stories I hear that begin, “I never could have attended Austin College without scholarship support …”
I hope you will take a moment this holiday season to reflect on the way financial aid or scholarships made possible an Austin College education for you or a classmate. And I hope you will be moved to “pay this gift forward” by making or increasing your donation to Austin College this year. As a private institution, we are not in line for any bailouts or handouts—the present and future of Austin College lives in our own collective spirit and actions. Our current generation of students needs you.
You will be glad to know that the strengths of Austin College are becoming increasingly visible to others. As you will read in this magazine, the College is again ranked #1 for study abroad participation. No other college surpassed us for the percentage of students with international experience.
Too, Austin College is a top producer of student Fulbright awards among bachelor’s institutions. With six current Fulbright students around the globe, the College leads the pack among Texas schools. Well, the University of Texas did field seven awardees, but then they do have more than 50,000 students as potential candidates. … We are very proud of the individual attention and support our faculty provides to prepare students for success in these very competitive awards, and so pleased that our students obviously shine in the written and oral portions of the selection process.
In other accolades through the fall term, the College was recognized in several college listings for offering a quality education at an affordable price, something definitely at the foundation of our mission to allow qualified students access to an Austin College education regardless of ability to pay.
This month, our students and faculty have set out on several international adventures—with courses in China, France, Japan, England, Malta, Spain, Costa Rica, Scotland, and Guatemala. Many students are studying architecture and art in New York City and another group is exploring the ecosystem of the Florida Everglades. With many other internships and interesting on-campus courses, January Term continues to be a highlight of the academic year.
As this new year unfolds, I wish you, too, many adventures and highlights in the days ahead.
Marjorie Hass, President