Happy New Year! Wofford College enjoyed a productive fall semester with topping out ceremonies for two new buildings, the opening of the Stewart H. Johnson Greek Village and the announcement of several prestigious grants. The college was listed again in Open Doors among the nation's Top 10 colleges for the percentage of students who study abroad for credit, and Kiplinger's Personal Finance just ranked Wofford nationally (and first in South Carolina) as a 2017 ‘Best College Value.’

Before the winter break, I enjoyed hearing from students, faculty and staff who were planning to spend some of their holiday traveling. We all enjoy a good vacation and change of scenery, but the thing that strikes me most each time I travel is how interconnected our world has become. Global markets, politics, crime and environmental issues affect us here in the United States, and we, in turn, have an impact on other nations as well.

This is the world that will greet Wofford College graduates, and preparing them to live, work, serve and lead in that world is our priority. I say often that I don't want our graduates to be surprised by what they find beyond the safety and shelter of Wofford. That's why in the coming month, during the January Interim, our students will be studying abroad, completing internships and exploring a wide range of subjects, all so they will be prepared for what's next. For example, we have students participating in internships on Capitol Hill and with attorneys, dentists, doctors, teachers and business executives. Groups led by faculty mentors will be on site studying the sustainability of Southern African ecosystems in Namibia, agritourism and ecotourism in Ecuador, the cultural significance of Rome, World War II and its aftermath in Berlin, and the ancient cultures of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. On campus students will be learning about computer animation, reading Dickens, writing short stories, studying American foreign policy, and discussing just about every topic under the sun. We will continue to give our students transformative educational opportunities during the spring semester as well.

Also during the spring we will be completing our campus-wide assessment of diversity and inclusion, hiring new faculty as part of the Milliken Sustainability Initiative at Wofford College, and opening the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts. We'll be doing this while recruiting a new class of Terriers and sending the seniors who have spent the past four years preparing for their futures out into the world.

I'm proud to be a part of Wofford College during these exciting times, and I'm grateful for your partnership.

Go, Terriers!

Nayef Samhat