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Letter from the President

Letter from the president

At Wayne State University, we’ve always been proud of our deep, singular connection with the city of Detroit; its people; and its long, winding history. Our work in Detroit isn’t only to educate and to inform but to transform as well, to ensure that we’re creating paths that will allow all our students to change their lives for the better. In return, those students make us — the city and campus alike — a richer place to learn and a more rewarding place to live. Little wonder, then, that WSU was recently named the top school in the state for social mobility by U.S. News & World Report (see Page 5).

This issue offers a slew of reminders of how, for decades, we’ve impacted the lives of Detroiters in general and Warriors in particular, and how many of those same students have repaid us a hundredfold with contributions that have made all our lives a little better.

From the nursing school education that allowed the mother of current Board of Governors member Bryan C. Barnhill II to upgrade her family’s lives (Page 10) to the engineering degree that enabled alumna Emeline King to become Ford Motor Co.’s first Black female transportation designer (Page 22), our commitment to raising up the lives of Detroiters through education has been richly rewarding for our students and our city.

Likewise, Wayne State has been bettered by the relationships with our communities and our students, be they people like the former firebrand Lonnie Peek, who amplified the voice of Black students on campus in the 1960s (Page 7), or the brilliant Dr. Herman Gray Jr., a former student and current chair of our Department of Pediatrics, who talks openly about how his father’s resilience in the face of racism served as a foundation for his own success (Page 14).

More than any award or grant, the accomplishments of these and many other Warriors are the ultimate affirmation of our commitment to quality education and equal access. Therefore, we continue to seek new, more effective ways to foster student success on our campus (Page 18) and to shape leadership that will improve lives in the communities that surround it (Page 30).

Because when the city and the students we serve rise, we all go along for the ride.

M. Roy Wilson signature
President M. Roy Wilson
M. Roy Wilson, a man in a suit standing in front of a large window