In this issue, we celebrate the achievements of some of our younger alumni. Over the past 50 years or so, Americans have taken to giving names to groups born in certain time periods: Baby Boomers (that’s me), Generation X, Generation Y, Millenials and Digital Teens. Generational differences aside, the alumni featured here are examples of how big dreams can be accomplished through hard work and using the gifts and talents often discovered or developed upon starting at Hesston, as we seek to “educate and nurture each student within Christ-centered community.”
Many students change their direction at least once, and many gain a great deal of confidence during their time at Hesston. As alumni, they work in businesses, nonprofits, churches, education and healthcare organizations. They are artists, engineers, teachers, nurses and entrepreneurs. They are working to make the world a better place.
Student success at Hesston is no accident. We have worked to improve our individual courses, the level of student engagement and overall student satisfaction. According to data gathered through our work, we are an “exceptional” teaching college. Some of our scores on the Community College Survey of Student Engagement are the highest in the nation. Our overall student satisfaction is 20 percentage points higher than the average of private four-year colleges. This spring, 93.1 percent of the students eligible to return for the spring semester chose to do so. This is the highest retention percentage for Hesston in many years and well above community colleges.
We have worked hard, and we are proud of the results. But success is beyond the numbers. We care about the student as a person. As we live with our theme verse from John 14, “abide in me, abide in my love,” we seek to bring the presence of Jesus to every interaction. Success may be the President’s Scholar who becomes an engineer. But it is also the academically challenged student who works hard to earn a degree and gains the confidence to enter a vocation.
Thank you for investing part of your life in this place and supporting our quest to help all students gain the confidence and skills to realize their full potential.