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Dean's Letter

deanWelcome to the monthly Aspire E-Newsletter for the 2013-14 academic year. Our new mission statement describes our focus: To develop engaged citizens with exceptional abilities in the arts. Our new tag line, Connect...Collaborate...Create, symbolizes our desire to connect with the community, collaborate across disciplines, and create works that represent the best in all of us.

Those works represent the five areas of the School: Fine Arts, Music, Communication Studies, Integrated New Media Studies, and Theater and Dance. While they have their individual elements, they are stronger when they all work together. It is the collaboration of ideas that will allow us to connect to the community to create a community of scholar artists.

It was a terrific summer for our faculty and students with numerous conferences, papers, exhibitions, and performances. We are proud that almost 20,000 people came to our campus last academic year to witness our varied programs. We are proud that the Doloris C. Cogan IU South Bend Summer Theater Series was a success with record attendance of over 1,400 and support from the Elkhart community.

Parts of our programs are now located in the new Education and Arts building and the renovation of the Louise E. Addicott & Yatish J. Joshi Performance Hall is well underway. There is still time for you to purchase a seat for the new hall. We had our second highest number of graduates in the last 10 years (81) and the incoming numbers for the School of the Arts are almost equal to the 2012-13 academic year (554). This Friday we will host the official opening of the renovated Art Gallery honoring Dot Wiekamp and Barbara Warner for their contributions to help establish this new space.

We begin this new year refreshed and ready to tackle the challenges ahead of us. Our fifth issue of Aspire magazine has been published and our annual calendar is in the mail. Our students are already working hard on their projects and faculty members are preparing for conferences and performances around the world.

We invite you to partake in all that we are offering, and to be inspired as we aspire to bring you our very best.

Marvin Curtis