Holiday Letter from the President 2019
To our CityU family, partners, alumni, and students,
As we bid a farewell to 2019, I want to thank you for being a part of the CityU family. We worked together to create a fantastic year at CityU. The University wouldn’t be the institution it is if it wasn’t for you all.
Although we started 2019 with unprecedented weather that resulted in several snow storms in Seattle (as well as across the state), our students were ready to get to work in winter quarter classes. I also was not going to let a little snow delay my travels to celebrate our students across the world. One of my first trips of the New Year was to one of our partner schools, Centro de Enseñanza Técnica y Superior (CETYS) Universidad Campus Tijuana, to award the CETYS and CityU Presidential Scholarship. Three students, one from each of CETYS’s three sites (Tijuana, Mexicali, and Ensenada), were awarded a Presidential Scholarship towards their CityU/CETYS double degree. Then as summer arrived, I had the opportunity to go back to CETYS to participate and support their commencement ceremonies at the Ensenada and Tijuana sites.
Before I knew it, fall arrived in the Pacific Northwest and the trees had begun changing colors. During this time we were able to expand CityU’s reach and focus on our mission of providing access to education to anyone with a desire to learn. We visited CityU partner institutions in Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Beijing. My journey began at Shenzhen Polytechnic (SZPT) where I was able to meet with the president of SZPT, Dr. Yang Xinbin. From there, I flew into Hangzhou and visited students and faculty of Zhejiang Financial College (ZFC). After a wonderful lunch with ZFC president, Dr. Zheng Yali, I traveled to Zhejiang Gongshang University and met with the president, Dr. Chen Shoucan. My travels continued as I made my way over to Beijing and met with University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) president, Dr. Xia Wenbin. During my stay, I had the incredible opportunity to visit the Great Wall and The Temple of Heaven Park. These masterpieces were extraordinary and I look forward to visiting them again. To end this trip, I participated in UIBE’s Commencement and had the honor to meet many graduates and hear about their journey to finishing their degree.
I concluded the year’s travel with trips to Vietnam and Prague. During my journey through Vietnam, I visited CityU’s first CityU partner in Vietnam, the Banking Academy of Vietnam. We had dinner with families of current students and heard from very successful CityU alums, who credited their CityU degree for some of their success in the work place. Later, I was able to watch more than 120 students walk across the stage at the MBA Commencement for FPT University in Hanoi, a relatively new partner of CityU. CityU was extended the invitation to talk about our 1+1 MBA partnership with FPT and our doctoral programs to the FPT community. The Vietnam leg of my trip ended with avisit to Van Lang University (VLU)’s new campus in Ho Chi Minh City. Because of this trip, we were able to continue CityU’s expansion with two new educational offerings – an English Immersion Program and a Graduate Certificate in Project Management.
My final trip of 2019 was a visit to our Prague partner school, the University of Finance and Administration (VSFS). My time in Prague was short, but I was
able to meet with students, faculty, and partner staff from Czech Republic and China. I am grateful to have been awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa by the University of Finance and Administration alongside the former President of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus.
During my travels, I acquired a collection of ‘selfies’ as I’ve met students around the world. To be immersed in the celebrations and triumphs of students pursuing post-secondary education is priceless. Visiting our partner schools and institutions has been an incredible opportunity for me to meet with students, faculty, staff, and families from around the world and learn their story and these ‘selfies’ reflect just that.
At CityU, we are fortunate to have a talented team of staff and faculty who work tirelessly year after year to provide prospective and current students with the tools they need to succeed and finish their program. As a university, we celebrated increased enrollment, the launch of a new brand campaign focused on academic offerings, and watched proudly as more than 500 students graduated at our 44th Commencement.
Thank you all for making 2019 terrific. I look forward to seeing and working with you in 2020!
City University of Seattle President