professions, but also to their communities. “Our alumni certainly epitomize what an education can do, how it changes lives and how education can be the factor that makes all the difference in who a person becomes. So many of the conversations I have had with alumni highlight the caring community they found at Slippery Rock University,” she said. “I am amazed at the number of people they remain connected to, whether it be fellow students, faculty or staff, or even individuals who embraced them and helped them to be more as a graduate than they were as a freshman,” she said. “They are forever grateful for their connection with SRU and that this was their college of choice – some by accident, some by intent. “None of the alumni I have met said they regretted their decision. In reality, they definitely feel they owe SRU a debt of gratitude,” she said. “So hearing their stories has been important for me throughout the years to recognize that who we are today was built on the shoulders of the past community members and that our hope, our dream, our aspiration, is to continue to pass on that exceptional educational experience that our alumni talk about with great reverence. “The international travel experiences undertaken as president have given me
Norton and Shen Jiufu, president of China’s Xi’an Fanyi University, signed a trio of agreements between the two institutions in 2014, including one that allowed professors and students from each university to visit the other for a semester abroad.
an opportunity to really look at the global engagement of our institution in a much more expanded way. Typically, when we look at international programming, we are assuming this is a student-to-student exchange: either students participate in an institution exchange, with students from a foreign country coming to SRU, or we send our students abroad – and we will always do that. It is truly important that our students have an experience outside of western Pennsylvania, because they are students of the world, not just the commonwealth,” she said. “We have expanded that vision to look at international educational partnerships that will allow us to partner, not individual-toindividual, but institution-to-institution. In this
Dean, College of Education Dr. Norton and I worked together to get PASSHE board of governors approval for SRU’s College of Education’s first-ever doctoral degree in special education. She quickly understood the details and significance of the proposed program. She was terrific in her presentation to the board. As a result, we received a unanimous vote of approval. Dr. Norton is a true servant-leader. She combines a strong intellect with a deep caring for the success of others. I will miss her.
Dean, College of Health, Environment and Science Because of Dr. Norton’s leadership, the University has never been in a stronger position. During her tenure as president, the College of Health, Environment and Science has developed graduate programs in physician assistant studies, data analytics, health care informatics, athletic training, and public health. It was Dr. Norton’s support of faculty through the process and her vision for the institution that facilitated the development of these programs. In truth, it has always been Dr. Norton’s goal to provide the educational opportunities that our students both need and deserve.
Interim dean, College of Liberal Arts My personal appreciation of Dr. Norton pertains to role-modeling and genuine care for our environment. It would not be uncommon to bump into her in the early morning hours and see her picking up trash from the street, or to see her stop to pick up litter as she walks across our campus. She is someone who ‘walks the
walk’ and doesn’t just ‘talk the talk.’ We all know her famous phrase ‘Botox the campus’ and the additions we’ve had to our signage and flowerbeds are small, but tangible, evidence that everyone on campus can appreciate each day. Thank you for your service.
LOGAN STEIGERWALT, ’17
President and CEO, Slippery Rock Student Government Association, marketing major from Northampton I have had the pleasure of working very closely with Dr. Norton as SGA president for the past two years. Her commitment toward SRU students was very clear to me in everything she did, from coming up with ideas on how to make our campus community feel more inclusive, to answering student’s questions, (which were sometimes difficult) and even to attending our late-night Monday meetings. Having a president who cares as much as she does about the students, and one who is open to listening to ideas, made my job much easier. Thank you, Dr. Norton.
LISA HOLMES, ’88
President, Slippery Rock University Alumni Association, management graduate It has been a great pleasure to share my time as “a President” with “THE President,” Dr. Norton! She has a great way of greeting, meeting and really getting to know alumni and friends of the University. We, the SRU Alumni Association board of directors, often hear from alumni how important it is for them to feel connected to The Rock, even when they are miles away. Her willingness to attend and speak at alumni events in far away locations has helped tremendously in keeping those alumni connected. We appreciate very much her open communication with our board of directors and her support of our efforts. I’m honored to consider her a friend, and I’m confident The Rock will always have a special place in her heart, just as it does in the hearts of thousands of alumni!
Summer 2017 27
Published on Jun 28, 2017