2013 Year in Review | Webster University

Webster University: 2013 Highlights


Picture success.

Dear Webster University colleagues: 

The year 2013 was filled with significant accomplishments of our students, our faculty and staff, and our alumni, donors and friends around the world. Together, we made great strides in transforming students for global citizenship and individual excellence. We came together as a global community to intentionally commit our thought and our actions to academic and operational excellence. In doing so, we have made great progress in our Vision 2020 objectives and accompanying 2015 Stretch Goals.

As we reflect on 2013 through the lens of the Strategic Framework, you will see that our actions have direct impact on:

The accomplishments below are a reflection of your dedication to Webster. Please pause to celebrate just a few of our many University accomplishments in 2013.

Serving Students

Large, Diverse Incoming Class

This past fall, the home campus welcomed its largest incoming freshman class in 14 years, exceeding undergraduate enrollment targets. We also increased the geographic and ethnic diversity of our class, broadening our footprint within the United States and enrolling a freshmen class in which one-fifth identify themselves as minorities. This freshman class enrolled for the first time under the new Global Citizenship Program undergraduate curriculum designed by faculty.

Olivia Perez, Suggs Scholarship Winner, with her familyFirst-Ever Webster University Donald Suggs Scholarship

Demonstrating Webster’s leadership in the area of Diversity and Inclusion,Olivia Perez was named the 2013 Webster University Outstanding Young Scholar of the Year and presented with the Webster University Dr. Donald M. Suggs Scholarship in September. Webster presented the largest of the Donald M. Suggs Scholarships, valued at $100,000, in front of nearly 1,500 regional leaders in St. Louis.

Serving Working Professional Students

The first cohort of Kansas City School District teachers to take part in the National Professional Development program at Webster are finishing up their program of study this December. Nine of the 11 students in the cohort are staying at Webster to complete their Master’s degree in Teaching. The program was funded with a five-year $1.9 million grant from the Department of Education. Three additional cohorts will be completing the program over the next 4 years.

Webster University Students Excel

The Webster University baseball team was NCAA regional champion, returning to the D-III College World Series for the second consecutive year.Here is a partial sampling of accomplishments that reflect how our students compete and win on a local, national and international level in a variety of areas:

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Investing in Human Resources

Inaugural GLA Cohort Graduates

We began this year proudly graduating the 2012 inaugural class of Webster University’s Global Leadership Academy. In total, 16 fellows graduated, setting the example for more to follow in years to come. Twenty-three additional fellows from the 2013 class graduated, and the new 2014 class has been announced. This leadership program inspires faculty and staff to lead from wherever they are in the institution. We are proud to invest in our employees.

Encouraging Webster’s Philanthropic Culture

Webster Works Worldwide, one day that typifies a culture of year-round generosity.Webster Works Worldwide continues to typify the longstanding tradition of Webster University faculty, staff, students and administrators giving back to the communities we serve. In 2013, more than 1,800 volunteers worked more than 7,000 hours across all of Webster’s extended campuses.

This represents just one day in a culture of generosity that continues throughout the year, every year. This year faculty and staff broke records in giving to the annual faculty staff campaign which supports scholarships, athletics, specific colleges and campuses, the campaign for the United Way of Greater St. Louis, and in personal letter campaigns to thank Webster University donors and military veterans.

At the St. Louis faculty/staff annual holiday party, attendees donated items for Nurses for Newborns. A truckload of items was collected - diapers and clothing, toys and books, a car seat, cash and much more, all delivered to the charity before Christmas. Especially at this time of year, we can all celebrate the generous giving engrained in our University’s culture.

First AVP of Diversity and Inclusion Named

Capitalizing on momentum from the Diversity Working Group and last spring’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Summit, Webster took enormous strides defining ourselves as leaders in diversity and inclusion. In November, Nicole Roach was appointed the University’s first Associate Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion and Senior Director for Community Engagement.

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Investing in Infrastructure, Financial Resources, Fundraising

New Vienna Location Secured

In Vienna, papers were signed for a new campus location, and renovation work is now underway as our colleagues busily prepare for a move to the classic Palais Wenkheim in 2014.

Webster's campus in Accra, Ghana, opened in 2013.Webster Opens on Its Fourth Continent with Accra, Ghana Campus

Webster’s footprint expanded to an exciting new part of the world as we entered our fourth continent. Webster Ghana received accreditation from the Ghana Ministry of Education in July and approval from the US Higher Learning Commission in September for Accra to serve as a Webster campus. We anticipate a grand opening in 2014.

New, Improved Metro Locations

We were proud to be on site at the grand opening of the new metro campus location in San Antonio in October, where we also welcomed special guest Eileen Collins MA’89 (Colorado Springs), Astronaut; first female pilot and later, commander, of the Space Shuttle. We expect this location to contribute to Metro enrollment numbers in a significant manner.

Also this fall, we found new and improved locations for Columbia and Charleston, S.C. We expect both of these new locations to better serve their communities.

The East Academic Building achieved LEED Gold certification.EAB is Gold

In September, Webster University’s 92,000-square-foot East Academic Building was awarded LEED Gold certification, outperforming the original design goal of meeting the standards for LEED silver certification. This was not only the first LEED certified building for Webster University, but also the first LEED Gold building in the city of Webster Groves.

OMA Established

Becoming first choice for Military has been one of Webster’s strategic initiatives. In March, Webster launched the Office of Military Affairs under the leadership of Brig. Gen. Mike Callan (USAF, Ret.), associate vice president for Military and Government Programs. This office has already made tremendous impact, including launching the Military Tuition Assistance Protection (MTAP) Plan when sequestration threatened the ongoing funding of tuition assistance for military students.

Endowment Reaches All-Time High

Webster’s endowment has grown significantly over the last five years and stood at $117.2 million as of Oct. 31, 2013. The $117.2 million represents the University’s historically highest level. The endowment and similar funds (including interests in perpetual trust held by others, annuity reserves, and pledge receivables) support the current and future operations of the schools, academic departments, facilities, and student financial aid.

Overall, in FY 13-14 more than 800 donors have contributed over $1.75 million to Webster University thus far. Alumni donors comprise nearly half the number of donors, while current and past trustee giving accounts for nearly a quarter of total giving.

Mary Ann Lee Plaza Dedicated

A gift by longtime Webster University supporter Mary Ann Lee, the Mary Ann Lee Plaza was formally dedicated to add another attractive outside space to the home campus at the intersection of the sidewalks that connect the Pearson House, H. Sam Priest Center, and East Academic Building.

Anheuser-Busch Foundation Native Plant Rain Garden Dedicated

In October, Webster dedicated the Anheuser-Busch Foundation Native Plant Rain Garden outside of the East Academic Building. The rain garden serves as a visual reminder of the importance of sustainability on our campus and the generous support of a valued partner.

New Corporate and Foundation Donors

Alumnus Ron Bohmer and his daughter, current Webster Conservatory student Austen, performed at the DWS dinner.In 2013, we welcomed eight new corporate and foundation donors to the growing community of Webster supporters: Ameren; Canon; The Coleman Foundation; Herff Jones; Laclede Group; Mallinckrodt/Covidien; Missouri Department of Conservation and US Bank.

Daniel Webster Society (DWS) Increases Membership

As of May 31, 2013, we had a record number of Daniel Webster Society-level donors: 297. This number reflects a 14 percent increase over the previous year’s membership. The Daniel Webster Society recognizes significant annual giving to the University.

The 2013 annual DWS Dinner was an inspiring success, with more than 200 in attendance to see charter members Jan and Ronald Greenberg receive the Visionary Award, while Webster alumnus and Broadway star Ron Bohmer closed the evening with a special performance that included his daughter, Conservatory student, Austen.

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Strengthening Academic Programs

Faculty Research Grants

The Office of the Provost announced that 22 Faculty Research Grants have been awarded for 2013. The awards, totaling $100,000, will fund faculty research and professional development activities that will advance academic excellence for the individual faculty members and for Webster University. In 2012, 19 grants totaling $90,000 were awarded. Applications are currently being reviewed for 2014 grants.

Leon Hutton, National Capital Region, was among the 2012-13 Kemper Award Winners.Kemper Awards Celebrate Excellence in Teaching

The William T. Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching is awarded annually to two full-time and two part-time faculty members at Webster University who demonstrate teaching at its finest. This past year’s winners were Kristen DiFate, Julie Palmer, Jack Delman, and Leon Hutton. We thank them for their dedication to academic excellence.

2nd Annual William T. Kemper Speaker on Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Dr. Linda B. Nilson, a widely published author and founding director of the Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation at Clemson University, was the distinguished Kemper speaker this year. Her thought-provoking presentation was based on her latest book, Creating Self-Regulated Learners: Strategies to Strengthen Students’ Self-Awareness and Learning Skills.

Confucius Institute of the Year

Webster’s Confucius Institute received the incredible honor of being named the Confucius Institute of the Year. This can be attributed in part to a long list of outreach activities – ranging from teaching Chinese language and culture classes in 42 St. Louis-area K-12 schools, to hosting two-week Chinese immersion trips each summer for local high school students, to conducting workshops for employees of St. Louis companies that do business in China.

Webster Vienna and Harvard

Webster Vienna was accepted in the “Microeconomics of Competitiveness” network led by Harvard professor Michael E. Porter at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School.

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Enhancing Partnerships

Webster's School of Education partners with Harbin University.Webster continues to expand our reach through strategic partnerships.

SOE and Harbin University, Huate École de Bruxelles

In August we formalized a student exchange agreement for the School of Education with China’s Harbin University, as well as a student exchange partnership with Haute École de Bruxelles’ in Belgium.

Corporate Partners Honored

More than 30 executives and CEOs were honored in October during a special President’s Luncheon. Corporate partners are a vital link in Webster’s ongoing commitment to providing relevant programs for our graduates and our communities.

Muny Partnership Thrives

Pigiron PeopleThe partnership with the Muny, sharing resources and opportunities to develop and train performers and production staff, thrived in its second season since the partnership was launched. This and similar partnerships with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Repertory Theatre of St. Louis provide unique opportunities for Webster Conservatory students to learn as part of these cultural gems.

Webster Recognized as Pillar of St. Louis Region

Webster University was named a finalist for the Arcus Award for Achievement in Educational Attainment from the St. Louis Regional Chamber. Webster was nominated for the award for championing innovative programs to increase the education and skills of the region’s workforce.

Ten Years in Chengdu, China

Faculty, students and alumni celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Joint MBA Program with the University of Science and Technology China (UESTC) in Chengdu. Graduates of this program have been very successful, growing careers at Fortune 500 companies and remaining engaged with Webster University as alumni.

Thailand Earns Ministry of Commerce Honors

Webster University Thailand was awarded the Thailand Trust Mark (TTM) by the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce. With this award, Webster Thailand joined a select handful of educational institutions in Thailand that bear the coveted TTM mark of excellence, which is endorsed by the Royal Thai Government.

Webster University was also the only university among 23 recipients of the prestigious Prime Minister's Business Enterprise Award.

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Enhancing Reputation

Webster was front and center before 8,000 international visitors for the 2013 NAFSA conference.Webster Shines as Global Brand for Global Visitors

Webster University was host and sponsor to some 8,000 colleagues, friends, and partners from around the world at the NAFSA Conference for International Educators in St. Louis. Many faculty, staff and administrators participated as speakers and hosts to international guests. Webster was front and center for a week of activities before thousands of international educators in the America’s Center.

Initiatives like this have led to media coverage positioning Webster as a leading international educator.

Community Days in Webster Groves and Downtown

For the July 4 U.S. Independence Day holiday, our local entry in the annual Webster Groves parade was recognized as a top float, while in downtown St. Louis Brig. Gen. Mike Callan spoke to thousands at the Fair St. Louis Salute to the Troops. These gestures demonstrate Webster’s commitment to supporting our local communities wherever they are.

Winner of the Susan Polgar Girls' Chess invitationalChess Girls’ Invitational Attracts Young Talent from across U.S.

The Ninth Annual Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational, the most prestigious all-girls chess event in the United States, was held at Webster University in July. The event, which is a partnership between the Susan Polgar Foundation and Webster University, showcased some of the top young (under age 19) female talent from across the United States.

Awards and Recognitions

Also this summer and fall, Webster recognition continued:

Here is a terrific video Paraquad made to demonstrate why Webster University was recognized for accessibility:


Telling our Stories

We can all be proud of these achievements as validation of our work, our service to students, and our commitment to Webster’s mission. They also help to enhance Webster’s reputation around the world. Webster University received more than 24,000 media impressions in 2013. This included more than 9,000 impressions in traditional media and more than 14,000 mentions in social media and online blogs. We are telling our stories and the world is taking notice.

One Fall Day at Webster Worldwide

Creativity came alive throughout Webster locations as the Public Relations administrative department captured photos from Webster locations around the globe. Enjoy this jazzy tribute to Webster University fall 2013:


Mapping our Future in 2014

Mapping the future includes physical and strategic planning.

Clearly, these accomplishments should fuel our pride and momentum when we return in January. With this body of work, we have essentially accomplished Vision 2020 and many of the accompanying 2015 Stretch Goals.

It is time now to look to a future that features: holistic strategies and measures; seamless integration; sustainable and strategic enrollment and philanthropic goals; a continued focus on developing our people and fostering an inclusive environment; further attention to fiscal stewardship; enhanced partnerships and infrastructure; and more … all while embracing history and Webster’s unique culture to shape our future.

Planning the Webster Centennial

Webster University Centennial Planning kicked off in September with a 30-member planning committee working under the guidance of Chair, Elizabeth T. Robb ‘65, former Board of Trustee member and Working Chair, Barbara O’Malley, chief communications officer. The Centennial will be celebrated from November 2014 – November 2015.

Strategic Planning Launched

In October, we kicked off Strategic Planning. Nancy Hellerud, associate provost, is chairing the Strategic Planning Committee that will build upon the framework we have all collectively worked on including the ACE Internationalization Study; Comprehensive Master Plan; Working Groups; and Program and Site Review.

Happy Holidays!2013 was a year of coming together, working together, and putting in place the infrastructure and foundation on which we can now build a new strategic plan. 2014 will be a transformative year with our eyes on the future as we begin celebrating our Centennial in November 2014 and renew our commitment to our vision in a new strategic plan coming in fall 2014.

In the spring, we will begin to define our next Century together as we define Global Innovation – the Webster Way.

Enjoy the holiday break, and we would like to especially thank to the many employees who work over the holiday break for the success of our students.

Happy holidays…and remember to Let it Snow…wherever you are!

Beth Stroble

Julian Schuster
Provost, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer 

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