Dear Members of the College Community,
As we head toward the mid-term break this week, we do so with a heightened awareness of macroeconomic and political issues which swirl around us. The Saint Mary's community is affected in multiple ways by the current economic situation. This will be an important topic in discussions this week in the Budget Committee, the Cabinet and the Board of Trustees, who meet on Thursday and Friday for their first meeting of this academic year.
I have asked the Cabinet members to be especially prudent and cautious in managing their budgets and to make savings in areas where this is possible. We are equally mindful of the economic challenge of our students and their families as they attempt to meet their fiscal obligations. We have had a significant rise in the number of requests for financial aid, and we are attempting to meet those needs as best we can. I asked the Board of Regents at their meeting last Thursday to contribute to an emergency fund for students. Frankly, the need for that fund is most pressing this fall.
The offices of Financial Aid and Admissions both made transitions last Friday to new and/or temporary locations. Financial Aid is now located on the ground floor of Brother Jerome West Hall, and Admissions has moved to Brother Urban Gregory Hall, at the north end of the main parking lot, in the building formerly occupied by the School of Education. I thank each of these important groups for their efficiency and cooperation in these transitions.
Work continues on schedule in other construction and renovation projects, including the major renovation and expansion of the kitchen and dining facilities associated with Oliver Hall. Thanks for your patience as we continue the important work in these areas. Please consult this week's bulletin for further information on the many projects underway.
The annual President's Club Dinner will be held on campus this year on Saturday, October 18, in celebration of our 80 years on the Moraga campus. Parents' Day will also be held on October 18. Thanks in advance to those faculty who will be sharing their expertise with the parents on that day in the "classes without quizzes" events.
Congratulations are due to the most recent graduates in our MBA programs. The Commencement ceremony will be held next Sunday, October 12.
I look forward to traveling later this month to Cuernavaca, Mexico to host an international meeting of Lasallian college and university representatives. Our topic for the meeting is mission-related research at our institutions. I will be proud to report on the many projects and initiatives under way at Saint Mary's College.
In Saint La Salle,
Brother Ronald Gallagher, FSC