I began my career at Johnson & Wales University in September 1974. In my 35 years as a student, alumnus, instructor, dean and administrator, I have never witnessed a greater time of need for our students, or a more challenging economy for our young graduates.JWU proactively increased institutional aid by more than 25 percent in 2008–2009 alone. We anticipate that number going higher in the next academic year. But even as we reallocate institutional resources, it is still not enough. We need the support of alumni, parents, friends and industry leaders to help our students.Aligned with our strategic plan, FOCUS 2011, you’ll see that JWU is relaunching an annual fund program. Part of a renewed fundraising effort, this year all gifts to the JWU Fund will be entirely dedicated to student scholarships and programs on our four campuses. I am giving voice to the thousands of students who can grow and benefit from your financial support. Many of our alumni have gained from similar funding, and today gifts to the JWU Fund will help propel our students’ success.Trying economic times demand that we make difficult decisions. However, I assure you that in all aspects the university will preserve and protect the mission, core values and academic purposes on which it was established and has grown.We continue making strides in our academic delivery, whether it is through investing in online learning or international collaborations with institutions overseas. Even in the face of challenge, it is imperative we make the necessary investments as we continute to raise the bar in our academic programs. Cuisinart Center for Culinary Excellence being completed on the Providence Campus is one way in which we are further laying our stake in the ground as a leading culinary educator.I come back to where I began my letter. This is a time of great need for our students. For almost 100 years, JWU has counted on, but never taken for granted, the support of the larger university community across the world. Now we must work together to ensure our graduates a secure and bright future, and that JWU remains competitive and a leader in career focused education.
University President John J. Bowen ’77