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President's Video | Transcript

Fall 2011 President's Message (November 29, 2011)

(President Neil Kerwin) I’m Neil Kerwin, president of American University. As we enter the final phase of the fall semester, it’s a good time to provide an update on what the institution has accomplished over the past several months.

We’re in the third year of our strategic plan, and we’re making solid progress on each of our goals. The university has received important recognition in the past several months. US News and World Report ranked us number one in the country for internships. The Princeton Review ranks our career center among the best in the United States, and they placed us on their Green Honor Roll. And, once again, we’ve been named one of the United States’ most military friendly schools.

Prominent in our strategic plan is the development of our faculty. This fall, we welcomed 33 new members to the full-time faculty. They come from the finest doctoral and professional programs in the world, and they come to American University ready to advance their fields and better society.

(Shalini Ayyagari) I'm really excited about starting an ethnomusicology program in the performing arts department.

(Joseph Young) This is the epicenter for the study of violence and how our government can respond to it.

(President Neil Kerwin) Our exceptional faculty are receiving recognition nationally and receiving grants and contracts that support their work from some of the most significant funding sources in America. University provost Scott Bass received the Donald Kent Award from the Gerontological Society of America for his exceptional contributions and leadership to the field of gerontology.

David Culver, Environmental Sciences and Biology, was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Kim Blankenship, chair of our Department of Sociology is leading a collaborative team, supported by NIH, in the study of HIV/AIDS.

And Ron Anderson, in Finance and Real Estate, was selected as one of the most influential scholars in the field of corporate governance.

As one of the most politically active campuses in America, we strive to bring individuals who deal with some of our most important issues. Renowned anthropologist Jane Goodall visited our campus as part of the United Nations International Day of Peace.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano came to the campus once again, this time to discuss immigration reform.

And John Legend performed and spoke to his commitment on education reform and the end of global poverty.

Our alumni continue to distinguish themselves and the university. At the President’s Circle Dinner, we honored Alan Fleischmann for his extraordinary contributions to the development of entrepreneurs worldwide and his ability to engage the global community.

This fall we also honored four outstanding alumni for their contributions and their ability to put their American University education to work: David Gregory, moderator of Meet the Press; Karen Bune, a victim specialist in the office of the state’s attorney for Prince George’s County; Brian Keane, the president of SmartPower and the former president of our alumni association; and Talila Lewis, a School of Public Affairs alumna and current student at the Washington College of Law, for her work in establishing a nonprofit organization that empowers deaf Americans.

Our radio station, WAMU, one of the nation’s leading public broadcasters, just celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Once again, this fall we welcomed strong entering classes. This year’s freshman class was one of the most accomplished and diverse in the university’s history. We’re looking forward to working with these young men and women as they develop as students and people over the coming years.

It’s been a full and exciting time at American University. I hope you’ll stay engaged and take full advantage of all this great university has to offer. I look forward to hearing from you, and I look forward to seeing you on campus very soon.