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December 30, 2012

FLASHPOINT: Milestone year for Rose-Hulman

TERRE HAUTE — The Rose-Hulman campus traditionally quiets down this time of year, yet for me I sense a renewed energy from the phenomenal year just closing. It’s also a natural time to be retrospective as well as to look forward to the coming year.

It goes without saying that the passing of President Matt Branam in April was a sad and tragically unexpected challenge in our journey through Rose-Hulman history. Matt accomplished much in his relatively short time with us as president and is sorely missed. However, with the strength and determination of an extremely dedicated group of faculty, staff and students working together, we’ve kept our footing and kept our momentum forward as an institution.

As an example, I believe one of the most significant events of the year for us was the creation of our Strategic Plan 2013-2018, “The Next Steps.” I also believe that our method of engaging more than 2,000 alumni, retirees, students, faculty and community members in this year-long planning process was just as important as the resulting document. Whether it is from my vantage point as interim president, as a longtime employee here, or just as someone who is fascinated by the collective talents at Rose-Hulman, our new Strategic Plan has infused the campus with bolder ideas, renewed passion, and stronger collaborations.

In addition, I hope you share my pride in a great Terre Haute institution as I recap for you just a few additional accomplishments and accolades for the year:

• We welcomed the largest freshman class ever this fall; a class that is also the most geographically diverse, includes a record number of female and international students, and is one of our strongest classes academically.

• Rose-Hulman was included in the Best 300 Professors book published by Princeton Review. Six of our fine professors were profiled, and we were also the only Indiana institution of higher education included in the book.

• We received our 14th consecutive No. 1 ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

• We were also ranked as the ninth “Smartest College” by the national Lumosity report — listed in the same company as MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, and Yale. This same report stated we were No. 1 in the nation for student memory.

• Rose enjoyed international attention thanks to Siemens Global who featured one of our Senior Design Projects within their online film which featured an eight-year-old Rockville boy who was the recipient of a prosthetic forearm created by two of our seniors.

• In October, we hosted a 19-member Japanese delegation on campus, celebrating our 20th year of partnership with the Kanazawa Institute of Technology — our sister institution in Japan.

• During fall break, we hosted the NCAA Division III Cross Country Nationals, which brought hundreds of visitors to our community.

Also, Rose-Hulman attracted some top-drawer specialists from around the globe to enlighten us all on various topics, including:

• Inventor extraordinaire Dean Kamen, who inspired our 2012 graduates at Commencement.

• Alumnus Michael Mussallem, Chairman and CEO of Edwards Lifesciences, who spoke on the topic of minimally invasive heart valve innovations.

• Revolutionary cancer therapy researcher Dr. Bruce Horten, who discussed targeted cancer therapies.

• Alumnus Dr. Felda Hardymon from the Harvard Business School and a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners discussing entrepreneurship.

• Intercultural communications expert Dr. Milton Bennett direct from Milan, Italy.

We’ve had a milestone year by several measures, but it has always been a Rose-Hulman tradition to reach even higher each year, and 2013 promises to be no exception.

We are proud to be a part of the Terre Haute community, and wish to thank you for your continued pride and support of our work at 5500 Wabash Ave. As a community, we all do our best work when we work together, and all of our lives are all richer for it.

Have a safe and prosperous New Year.

— Rob Coons, President

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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