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ROCK Dear Friends,

Cheryl Norton, president

2 The ROCK


SUMMER 2017 Volume 19, Number 2


Commencement is always a bittersweet time at the University. This was especially true for me this year as I presided at my final ceremony and conferred degrees for the last time. After more than 40 years in higher education I am retiring and will leave the presidency of Slippery Rock University July 21. Since making my decision public last December, I’ve had many opportunities to meet with students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends and I have appreciated all of your congratulations, kind words of support and even the invitations to reconsider my decision. But, as I said to the Class of 2017 at commencement, now is the time to move on: Graduates to the challenges and rewards that await them on the next leg of their journey, and me to a retirement that provides time for playing with my grandsons and training for my next triathlon. I have heard people refer to life’s activities as the meaning of the “dash” – you know that symbol that connects your birth year with the year of your death – the dash. A small line that symbolizes all that you have accomplished in your life and the meaning that your life has had for others. The part of my “dash” spent at Slippery Rock University was indeed special. Since joining the ROCK family in 2012, we’ve accomplished much together. In the past five years, Slippery Rock University has seen a rising rank in U.S. News & World Report, been named a Best College in the Northeast by the Princeton Review, named a “Best Value Institution” by Money magazine, was recognized as a national, regional and public “College of Distinction” and has been applauded by The Chronicle of Higher Education as a “Great College to Work For;” among many accolades. We led the State System schools in achievement on performance indicators three times, and consistently received a “green” or low risk ranking on the State System financial dashboard. We implemented new programs and opportunities as a way to serve the needs of our changing student population and regional employers – including introducing 15 new academic programs since 2013. And, I am especially thankful that with your help, private support to the University increased 32 percent from 2010-11 to 2015-16. I had a fantastic time serving as your president and there are many, many people and things I will miss. However, as tough as it is to leave SRU, to paraphrase Winnie the Pooh, “how lucky I was to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” SRU will always have a special place in Henry’s and my hearts. We thank you for the memories.

10 Passion for

(theatrical) Fashion

In this issue

16 Waking up to ‘sell’ the Coffee

20 Graduation

Celebration Slippery Rock University is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education Slippery Rock University is committed to a policy of affirmative action. Slippery Rock University assures an equal opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, creed, disability, ancestry, national origin, age, gender or veteran’s status in accordance with the state and federal laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Rock Magazine Summer 2017  
Rock Magazine Summer 2017