From the President

President Ohles in front of Old MainDear Alumni and Friends,

I really like anything that’s annual.

Kathy Reynoldson serves as the grounds manager and Alice Abel Arboretum curator here at Nebraska Wesleyan. She tells me that among the annual flowers she raises from seed and places around our lovely campus are geraniums, impatiens, and zinnias. Oh, they make such a beautiful sight!

Another kind of annual I like is an annual report. There’s one of them in this issue of Archways. Of course, I look to see where my name is printed among the contributors. But more than that, this annual report, like so many others, gives a snapshot of how the institution is doing. In the case of Nebraska Wesleyan University, for the year 2008-2009, our annual report shows that we’re applying our resources well, fulfilling our mission with vigor, and providing our students with exceptionally valuable learning opportunities.

If you’ve been reading these letters from me for the past two years, you’ll know about another kind of annual that I cherish: Nebraska Wesleyan’s Annual Fund. Before I offer a few remarks about our Annual Fund, I’d like you to look at this chart of how many alumni make annual contributions at a dozen colleges—including Nebraska Wesleyan.

Chart of Average Alumni Giving RateShocking, isn’t it?

However, the bad news that shows up so starkly in this chart can easily be turned into good news, because what it shows is a shortfall that all of us, acting individually but with a powerful collective effect, can fix tomorrow.

Let’s do that—for the love of learning, for the vigor of this fine institution, in order to demonstrate that our pride and ownership in Nebraska Wesleyan are right up there with the excellence that Nebraska Wesleyan’s students and professors have demonstrated once more in 2008-2009 and will demonstrate yet again in 2009-2010 and in the years to come.

I’m counting on you. Even more importantly, students are counting on you, quite literally to RAISE THE BAR for Nebraska Wesleyan.

Yours truly,

—Fred Ohles, President