Mother’s Day weekend I had the privilege and honor to participate in the spring commencement and Mag Chain. The class of 2017 is an awesome group of alumni and are the newest members of “The Long Blue Line.” The weekend was filled with memories: Mag Chain, the walk, the Magnolias--a symbol of good fortune and romance, receiving degrees, celebrating with family and friends and the obvious faculty pride at the graduates’ accomplishments.

The weekend flooded me with memories of this same day 39 years ago. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, The W shaped the course of the rest of my life. The lessons learned, the experience gained, the amazing friendships all spark an enthusiasm for giving back to this university.

Our W memories are all very different, yet so much of each of our experiences ties us together. As students we were allowed to spread our wings, explore our potential and pursue our future. Most, if not all of us, were oblivious to the nuts and bolts of what went on before us--the commitment, the dedication, the vision, the perseverance and the generosity that allowed us to have our W experience. Many of the alumni through their dedication and willingness to be involved gave us one of the greatest gifts we will ever receive--our lifelong tie to The W. My grandmother, Courtney Lucius Best, graduated from II&C in 1918 with a degree in mathematics and music. What an honor for me to be serving as the MUWAA president during the 100-year anniversary of her graduation.

Each year the Alumni Association awards scholarships and funds faculty grants. At graduation, along with Mortar Board, we sponsor the Faculty Member of the Year. We celebrate 100th Night which honors the senior class during the last few months of their college careers.

The W is fortunate to have a huge group of passionate and loyal alumni. You can play a crucial role in helping us translate our incredible alumni loyalty into increased MUW Alumni Association membership. If you are already an active member, we are so thankful for your support. If you are not an active member, we ask you to join the Alumni Association. If you have friends who are also alums, urge them to join the Association.

We will continue to fund the Alumni scholarships and awards through The Long Blue Line Silent Auction as well as establish chapters throughout the United States and a Men’s Alumni Constituency Group.

I also ask you to share your W stories with everyone, especially the students who are trying to make the right choice of where to attend college. We need you to refer these students to The W, so they too can be prepared to find their way beyond The W and fulfill our motto “We study for light to bless with light.”

Last but not least, this past year we began the process of developing a strategic plan to help us support the university’s four priorities: Advancement Excellence, 21st Century University, Regional Stewardship and Degree Completion.

The W is meeting the challenges of today and thriving. The faculty and administration are dedicated to inspiring our bright students into the future. The W has stood the test of time.

I ask each of you to think about your W memories when you make the decision to continue your involvement as members of our alumni association. I look forward to what the coming year has in store for us, and I know that nothing I can accomplish as your president is possible without each of you. Long Live the Long Blue Line!

With W spirit and pride,

Courtney B. Murtaugh (’78)
President, MUW Alumni Association