The last year brought challenges unlike any that I have seen in my 40-year career, but it also revealed opportunities for the Smeal community to shine. As I reflect on all that transpired in 2020-21, I am reminded of just how fortunate I am to be surrounded by bright and ambitious students, outstanding educators, talented staff, and an alumni network that is second to none.

This year, we set out to clarify and communicate who we are as a business college and how we want the world to see us via our refreshed brand. Along the way, we came to appreciate something that we’ve long understood: We are much more than the faculty, students, alumni, and staff members of an internationally ranked college of business. We’re business partners. Whether responding to adversity or seizing a unique opportunity, our individual passions align with a culture of collaboration where we support and inspire one another to greatness.

The expansion of our professional graduate programs is just one example of how we are fostering personal and professional growth throughout the lives of our students and alumni. When I came to Smeal in 2012, there were five professional master’s and graduate-level certificate programs. Today, we are approaching 30.

Keenly focused on their academic success despite the pandemic, our students are well prepared for the workplace, recruited by leading corporations, and poised to learn and adapt throughout their careers. Our faculty forged ahead as well, producing leading research that will shape the future of business around the world. And, together, we continue to deepen our culture of honor, integrity, diversity, and sustainability.

I am proud of our strong foundation. The evidence is found here, in the pages of our Annual Report for 2020-21.

I look forward to continuing this journey with you.

Charles H. Whiteman

Photo by Steve Tressler