A Decade of Distinction — A Message from J. Michael Adams


A Decade of Distinction — A Message from FDU President J. Michael Adams to the Community


Closely Woven into FDU's Fabric



FDU President J. Michael Adams

Dear Friends,

It has been an incredible decade at Fairleigh Dickinson University. I’ve written before that humans are fascinated by milestones marked with the numerals 1 or 0. But in truth, 10 years is not an especially long period of time, particularly for an institution as large and rich with tradition as FDU. And 10 years for me have flown by, primarily because the experience has been so fulfilling.

In the last decade, I am very proud to say, we have produced extraordinary achievements that have provided students new gateways to the world. Many examples of those exciting accomplishments are highlighted in this special report.

We have traveled far. We have gained great distinction for this University. And I do believe we have changed lives. I am deeply grateful to the many passionate and talented members, including alumni and friends, who have contributed to these accomplishments. Our progress reflects the collective passion and spirit of this special community.

While our progress has been extraordinary, I am most encouraged by the fact that no one who has had a hand in any of this is satisfied. We know we have only scratched the surface of our potential. We know we have done something, but we also know we can do more. We know we have the vision, the desire and the talent to do so much more.

When our global mission was established in 2000, we were in the vanguard. Few institutions had then made global education a strategic priority. But now, global goals and programs are front and center at many universities. Others have followed our path in global education, and they are responding quickly to new opportunities.

Now, we must reassert our advantage. We must respond to external challenges with agility, innovation and determination. We must renew our resolve to fulfill our global mission. By infusing global lessons fully into the bloodstream of our institution we will further distinguish Fairleigh Dickinson.

The priority for FDU must be to educate world citizens who understand global issues, who are comfortable in diverse environments, who can embrace different identities, connect with others in different lands and collaborate across countries and cultures. It actually makes no difference if they never leave home. They will be impacted by people and events around the world, and they have the capability to impact others everywhere. Therefore, our students must understand their responsibilities as members of a global community and have the skills necessary to fulfill those responsibilities.

At FDU, we have spent many hours developing strategic plans. We are working hard to implement specific initiatives, from innovative degrees to faculty-development opportunities, from new affiliations to added study-abroad offerings, from flexible services to state-of-the-art facilities like our planned Monninger Center for Learning and Research.

Even more significant, though, than any one initiative is our mindset as we approach the next phase of our history. I firmly believe that it is more important how we view what we are doing than what we actually do. In other words, we must approach the future with the view that we are preparing world citizens. We must believe we can help our students not only understand our interconnected world but actually help shape that world. Actions and innovations will follow that mindset.

Going forward, what we strive for are not unified methods or practices but a unified commitment, a shared purpose to build bridges across borders and prepare students who are capable of acting on the world stage.

My friends, it’s been an incredible adventure these last 10 years. I thank you for your support, friendship and dedication to this great University. I cherish the time we have spent together, and I very much look forward to what we will achieve together in the years to come.

As this report nicely shows, we have many highlights from the recent past to celebrate. But, as much as I am proud of what has happened, I agree with Thomas Jefferson, who wrote, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” As president of Fairleigh Dickinson University, I dream of our graduates making their dreams come true and building a better world. I look forward to continuing to spend the rest of my presidency bringing those dreams to life.

Thank you,

J. Michael Adams


FDU Magazine Home | FDU Home | MyFDU.net | Blog About It

FDU Magazine Online is published twice yearly by the Office of Communications and Marketing, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1000 River Road, Teaneck, N.J. 07666.

For a print copy of FDU Magazine, featuring these and other stories, contact Rebecca Maxon, editor, 201-692-7024 or maxon@fdu.edu.

To update your address e-mail fine@fdu.edu or update your profile online at www.MyFDU.net.

©Copyright 2009 Fairleigh Dickinson University. All rights reserved.

Link to Mission Milestones & Highlights — FDU-VancouverLink to New and Enhanced FacilitiesLink to Athletics AccomplishmentsLink to A New Culture of PhilanthropyLink to FDU Alumni AssociationLink to A Message from J. Michael AdamsLink to Faculty Profiles — Jason ScorzaLink to A Sense of Mission