Mid-semester greetings to you all.

Here is an update of some of my recent activities and items of interest to the College community.

At the end of last week the Board of Trustees held its fall meeting on campus. The theme of the meeting was current college priorities, and the Board and its various committees vigorously discussed a variety of timely issues. A highlight of the two-day meeting was a social and dinner with the members of the Academic Senate. The Board approved the designation of Professor Carole Swain as Vice President for Mission. Carole is currently in Rome as a regional delegate to the Lasallian International Mission Assembly; please congratulate her when she returns.

Earlier this month a number of committees and individuals met with Bill Weary, consultant to the Building on Strengths Steering Committee for Strategic Planning. Thanks to all who attended these meetings with our consultant during the week of October 3-6. The next phase in this process will be a series of large group meetings of students, faculty and staff on November 15-17. These gatherings will be extended sessions to discuss and develop consensus on strategic planning goals for the next three to four years. The Steering Committee will be extending invitations in the coming weeks to participate in these important sessions.

In the area of facilities, work has been completed on renovations to McKeon Pavilion in time for the Volleyball season, and anticipating the upcoming Women's and Men's basketball season. Take a peek and see the new seating, decor and signage, or better yet, attend a game! Work on the new Filippi Academic Hall continues on schedule. Installation of steel framing should begin this week. Re-construction of the Pat Vincent Rugby Field also continues on schedule.

Congratulations are due to a host of students for their recent achievements: to the science students for the display of their summer research projects; to the forensic society for their success in debating competitions; to the men's and women's intercollegiate teams for their continuing successful competition in soccer, volleyball, cross country and golf; and finally, to the more than 1500 students who participated in service projects last year. Saint Mary's has been named to the Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Furthermore, I just learned that sophomore Skylar Covich has won a scholarship from the National Federation of the Blind of California. Skylar, a politics major, was one of three undergraduates and two graduate students awarded a higher education scholarship at the organization�s annual convention last weekend in Irvine. The scholarship competition was based on academic achievement, school activities, recommendations and involvement with organizations for the blind. The president of the National Federation of the Blind in California, Robert Stigile, said, "Skylar is definitely a bright young man and I think he�s going to go a long way in whatever he chooses to do." (See our next community bulletin board for more details).

As we continue this busy semester, I encourage all to attend the community events sponsored during common time. I have certainly enjoyed and profited from those we have already experienced and I particularly look forward to the November 1 common time during which we will have the opportunity to reflect on the rich diversity of the Saint Mary's community.

In Saint La Salle,

Br. Ronald Gallagher

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