I hope you will enjoy, as I did, reading this issue of Strides. The richness of Viterbo’s distinctiveness can be found in the three lead stories.
The cover story offers a glimpse at our future along with a look at Viterbo’s newest strategic initiatives. Yes, transformation is taking place and we will change. We will grow. And in the process we will confront new challenges and pursue exciting opportunities. But, after reading about students such as Danielle Quinette and Lance Newton, I trust you will agree there is a “Viterbo way”—a distinctive thread that has been woven into the campus culture through the years. In the short time that Joan and I have been at Viterbo, we understand why it holds a special place in the hearts and minds of current students, alumni, faculty, administration, staff, and trustees. We all have every reason to be proud of our heritage and progress. Together, we will build upon our strengths and continue to expand our influence and increase our impact.
Further along in Strides, trustee Nola Jo Starling-Ratliff is singled out for some very special and well-deserved recognition. Nola Jo is a 1974 graduate of Viterbo, a respected principal in the Racine area, and an articulate advocate for the life-changing opportunities provided by higher education. We are grateful that she has come “full circle,” returning to Viterbo to help us shape the future for the next generation of students. Nola Jo is one of 30 trustees who serve on the board who give their time, talent, and treasure to the university. One of the truly unique features and strengths of American higher education is our practice of governance, wherein lay leadership accepts the fiduciary and stewardship responsibilities of our colleges and universities. Trustees receive no compensation for their service. To the contrary, their philanthropy amounts to the largest portion of donations from any one sector in American higher education.
Finally, friends of Viterbo will also be interested to read about Herb Heili. At age 69, Herb is one of our “newest hires.” Rather than say too much at this point, I’ll simply encourage you to get to know Herb through the telling of a very inspiring story. He is as enthusiastic as a freshman, and passionate about our plans for the future, particularly in the area of healthcare.
There’s much to be excited about here at Viterbo and that becomes very evident as we share the stories about friends and alumni who are contributing to the betterment of our society in some very profound ways.
Richard B. Artman