At the heart of the mission of colleges and universities is the desire to prepare students to shape the future and make a difference. We do what we do everyday because we truly believe education is the key that can unlock doors of greater possibilities for our students, our communities and for the world. 

For more than four-and-a-half decades, Waubonsee Community College has dedicated itself to this principle, working with our sister colleges and universities in the region and our partners in the communities we serve to provide the quality, affordable education our students need to enhance their careers, their lives and our communities. 

In early 2015, Waubonsee will fulfill the final commitments of our 2020 College Master Plan. And in two years, we will celebrate 50 years of outstanding accomplishments. We hope all of you will join in our celebration of these two milestones. 

While we make plans to celebrate our past; we are also using the occasion to look to the future. Where are Waubonsee and higher education headed? What might we look like over the next half century? 

Of course, we know predicting the future with any degree of certainty can be problematic, at best. However, we believe a few aspects of the future can be presumed with some assurance: Businesses and organizations of all sizes will still demand skilled workers. Our high schools will continue to produce talented young people seeking a start in their lives’ journeys. 

Adults, years or even decades into their own journeys, will continue to seek fresh starts, filled with new opportunities and new career options. Our local economy will continue to change and evolve as needs, preferences and technology shape our lives and our world. And community colleges, like Waubonsee, will continue to stand at the center of all these desires, as our communities look to us to help them meet the challenges the future may hold. 

Precisely how we rise to meet these challenges will be, in part, up to you. 

Each year, I announce a new Presidential Action Initiative (PAI). The PAI provides an overarching focus and theme for the year. As we near completion of our final 2020 College Master Plan project and approach our 50th anniversary in 2016, it is fitting to focus on the long term. 

As we did in the development of the 2020 College Master Plan earlier in the last decade, it is again time to analyze the education and training needs of our district into the next 20-30 years. With this in mind, and with a continued commitment to student success now and in the future, the PAI for FY2015 is, “Vision 2050: A Future Beyond Expectations.” 

Throughout the year we plan to engage in conversations with you, our partners and neighbors in the community, as well as our students, alumni, faculty and staff, as we work together to ensure our communities remain and grow as a  great place to live and work. 

Conversations may take place in large group town hall settings, small group settings,  over social media or in other ways. Watch for more information on how you can be involved. 

We will look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas as we plan for the future together, a future beyond expectations.