We do such a great job fulfilling our mission because of all those who came before us. Our reach extends so far because we stand on the shoulders of giants. On September 14 we had the opportunity to recognize two such giants. Melvin and Lois Kirkland graduated more than fifty years ago. They spent most of their lives as educators in the Seattle public schools before retiring to Hawai’i. Through their $1.25 million estate they established the Melvin L. and Lois M. Kirkland Scholarship Fund for aspiring teachers, a gracious gift that goes to our heart as a normal school. In recognition of their generous support, we have named one of the newest student residences Kirkland Hall.
Though we each contribute differently to Winona State University, each of us can be a giant in our own way. You are important to this university because – like the Kirklands – you are a part of helping others achieve their hopes and dreams. Our mission of improving our world is possible because you are part of our community of learners. I look forward to getting to know each of you better and collaborating with you to provide the best education possible for our students.