Our alumni are our best ambassadors, sharing our message with potential students, donors and friends. They can embody our mission. They are leaders and role models in nearly every field imaginable. Many of them also are influential supporters within the University community. Their voices are among the most passionate, and we welcome more of them. We value their input and treasure their friendship.
Alumni can help in so many ways; whether it’s serving on our Alumni Association Board of Governors, volunteering at a University event, helping to support the Annual Fund or talking with students about their professions. Programs like our Horizons career panels provide students with valuable information about various careers from alumni.
We also are committed to supporting alumni in their respective careers and continuing education. We offer various career services and provide opportunities for advanced and discounted studies and, of course, offer access to University resources and facilities.
Alumni who are interested in getting involved or want more information should call the Fairleigh Dickinson University Office of Alumni Relations (201-692-7013) or go to the alumni Web site (www.fdu.edu/alumni).
What is the biggest difference between the Fairleigh Dickinson University of 1999 and the FDU of today?
Some important things have stayed the same, such as the fact that we have many talented people who teach and work here and are committed to the success of this institution. But there are some very obvious differences, including more students and new and improved facilities that have enhanced our living and learning environment. (See “New and Notable — Global Education Milestones”.)
In addition, I believe we have made significant progress in distinguishing ourselves as a University committed to global education. We are being recognized on a regular basis by groups like the American Council on Education for the outstanding programs that have been adopted since the implementation of the new mission.
The Global Scholars and Florham Scholars live and learn together, studying global issues in and out of the classroom. The above photo features Global Scholars in South Africa.
Finally, I believe FDU today is building on momentum and attracting greater support. We have improved our fiscal health — as illustrated, for example, by five successive balanced budgets. We are ascending, and much of what we are doing is cutting edge.
What has not been accomplished that you wanted to accomplish by this time?
We have made financial progress, but we need to focus more heavily on fund raising and increasing our endowment because we are so reliant upon tuition. We must make greater strides in this area. We must emphasize philanthropy as a resource to propel us forward. It’s taken us a little longer than I had hoped, but I do now believe we have the people and programs in place to reach significant fund-raising goals.
What is the biggest difference between the Michael Adams of 1999 and of today?
The most conspicuous difference is that I have less hair, and what I still have is rapidly going gray. Seriously, though, the past five years have taught me many new things and reaffirmed other lessons.
As I meet more alumni, I grow increasingly appreciative of how this University has transformed the lives of thousands. Graduates always mention the name of a teacher or adviser with eyes of gratitude. That is a very special tradition.
|“We’re very proud of what has been accomplished in the last five years, but this is only the beginning. As we continue on this path and forge new programs and international associations, we will further distinguish the University as a prominent global force.” |
I’ve also come to understand that we are primarily custodians. I spoke last spring with Robert Denton, the groundskeeper at our Wroxton campus. Looking together at a large tree, he said, “That oak is 500 years old.” After a brief pause he pointed to a small tree about 100 feet away, adding, “I planted that one for the next generation.” We must cherish the past but always look to the future. It is all about planting for the next generation.
On a more personal note, my relationship with my wife grows stronger each day. It is sometimes difficult to balance the demands on a University president and my personal life, but I am fortunate that I have Susan as my best friend.
What will tomorrow bring for FDU?
Fairleigh Dickinson University will be a place where more and more people will want to be. On an individual level — and this is how I look at each question I face — we will graduate students who will be leaders in the 21st century. Our attitude with each student must be that he or she can go on to become the next secretary-general of the United Nations, the next CEO of a major corporation, the next governor of the state or even president of the nation. Our students have in the past and will continue to fulfill lofty expectations. They will change the world.