As I write, the election fades, but the passion for making the right choices - to put Minnesotans back to work, to drive business innovation and medical advancements, to make health care affordable, and so much more - remains.
What underlies so many of today's issues is quality education. It opens doors to new ways of thinking about society's needs and provides a higher quality of life for all of us. But quality education requires us to collectively roll up our sleeves and let loose our imaginations.
It's a good thing we have lots of practice. In this year of anniversaries we celebrate 150 years since President Lincoln signed the Morrill Act creating a path for universities across the country to serve the public and 100 years since Minnesotans' land-grant University formed this College.
Those two actions alone enabled myriad individuals to create a better quality of work, and of life, for themselves and their communities. In this centennial issue we celebrate:
--75 years of professionals taking part in intensive conferences - a front-row seat to what a University historian described as "the advances, discoveries, and new techniques which have become an indispensable part of [the] professional equipment in their respective fields since they left college."
--25 years of bold high school students venturing into college classrooms - both on campus and right in their home high schools; and, more recently, dedicated U faculty and high school teachers carefully crafting courses where students in the "academic middle" now also can experience the rigors and rewards of college curriculum.
--19 years of advisory boards of faculty and employers in a handful of industries partnering to develop applied bachelor's then professional master's programs so adults can expand their perspectives in engaging classroom discussions often online or at night.
As we celebrate the past, we also look to the future. We are laying the groundwork for excellent education for the next century of lifelong learners.
Dr. Mary L. Nichols
Dean, College of Continuing Education
University of Minnesota