When Bill Gates visited our campus in March, he expressed how wonderful it felt to “be at a place that’s really getting it right.”
I couldn’t agree more. For the past 54 years, there has been incredible innovation and creativity going on at this small College. Much of that is due to the passionate commitment of our faculty, staff and students and the pioneering spirit and vision of those who came before us.
It was an honor to have 33 of the 41 living members of our Founding Class on campus for our most successful Alumni Weekend ever. Our Founding Class and faculty were true pioneers. They promoted a new concept in technical education: Learning humanities, arts and social science alongside mathematics and science makes you a better engineer, scientist or mathematician. As I look back on the accomplishments of the past five years, there is a sense of our reconnecting with that original pioneering spirit.
This College started with a vision and, in 2006, we renewed our strategic vision for the future. Members of the HMC community spent six months identifying six themes, and, during the last five years, we have been advancing those themes. In this issue, we celebrate key successes inspired by the strategic vision and made possible by our hard working community.
One such success story describes how our Computer Science Department tackled the gender gap in computer science.Through an innovative, three-part plan, the percentage of women CS majors has shifted from 12 percent to 35 percent and reached a high of 40 percent for the class of 2011.
Another achievement is a new elective created by the Depart-ment of Engineering that gives first-year students a hands-on, interdisciplinary lesson that allows them to design, build and program autonomous robotic vehicles. I encourage you to read more about these strategic vision victories as well as our accomplishments regarding diversity, whole-person development and global engagement.
Also included in our list of successes is the new teaching and learning building. To prepare the next generation of leading scientists, engineers and mathematicians, world-class facilities are required. That’s why, this summer, we will tear down Thomas-Garrett and begin constructing a 70,000-square-foot academic building that will transform the campus and serve as a catalyst for innovation and the development of future leaders in science and technology.
The vision upon which Harvey Mudd College was founded has been renewed. You are part of a new legacy and an integral participant in our progress. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating our successes and sharing our vision with those who care about STEM education. We want everyone to know that Harvey Mudd College is getting it right.