Welcome message from President Scrimshaw

September 2, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Dear Sage Students:

Welcome to a new academic year. I've talked to enough of you as you moved in or walked to your first class to know you had a busy summer. So has Sage!

If you parked a few rows farther from class or stood in line a bit longer for a latte, you know that enrollments are up, in some cases even beyond what we predicted. And if your ear detected a wonderful mixture of languages at the bookstore or while working out, then you know that we are welcoming students from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Gambia, Honduras and Haiti. We also welcome six exchange students from the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade (SIFT), four graduate nursing students from Thailand and two, first-year students at Russell Sage College who come to us from Afghanistan, as part of The Initiative to Educate Afghan Women.

You might also have noticed that almost every building, from new floors to porch pillars to iron rails, has been spiffed up. We planted flowers and trees, put in new sidewalks and even replaced a roof or two. We were able to do this in part because of an incredibly generous gift from RSC alumna Donna Esteves, who gave us $1.5 million on the condition we match the figure with donations. Not only did we do that, we went $200,000 over that figure, and so grew our endowment by $3.2 million dollars in just one year. This, along with record-breaking donations to the Annual Fund, allowed us to make many of the improvements you asked for last year.

Those guys kicking a ball across campus are likely members of the men's soccer team, and the runners are part of men's cross country, both of which kick off inaugural seasons this year.

We have new deans, a new provost, several new faculty, and we've moved up in those U.S. News and World Report rankings your parents and loved ones watch so closely. In case you want to brag to your friends who went elsewhere, we were included also on the Forbes list of 600 Best Colleges. Make sure you meet your dean and all your professors, and say thank you to all those folks in Student Life, Financial Aid and the Registrar's Office who have worked all summer to make your time at Sage safe, secure and entertaining.

Speaking of entertaining, I hope I'll see all of you at the fall "Spirit of Sage" party on the ship Captain JP, which will sail between Troy and Albany. With good music, good food and plenty of room for dancing, this event was so popular last year, you asked us to do it again. We listened, and will welcome you aboard on Sept. 16.

If you'd rather stay on dry land, I'll also be looking for you at our musical theater program production, "Peter Pan The Musical," which opens at the James L. Meader Little Theatre on the Troy campus on Sept. 24.

If I don't see you at either place, please come up and say hello when you see me around. You are the reason the rest of us, faculty, staff and administrators, are here.

Susan Scrimshaw