In early June, I was joined by our board chair, Dot Davis, our Trustees, donors, students, faculty and staff for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated St. Joseph's Athletic and Fitness Center. This completely refurbished building is a beautiful and high performing addition to campus life for our athletes and students' health and fitness needs. The green outside St. Joe's will be re-landscaped in the coming weeks, and I invite you to visit us soon to see the campus.
Together with the new Celtic Simulation Center for Innovative Learning that opened last fall, we are grateful for your support, and particularly that of the Rita McGinley Foundation. It assures that Carlow continues to move forward, providing our students with excellence in both their academic and total campus experiences, whether on ground or online.
This is foremost on our minds and embedded in our strategic planning, which is currently underway with a focus on the next five years. Students need programs that provide them with the knowledge and education they need for the future they will be entering—both now for their chosen careers and for new careers that don't yet exist—in addition to learning experiences that prepare them for a changing workforce and leading a purpose-driven life.
At Carlow, our promise is to provide them with the skills, education and values of a liberal arts education as well as the professional preparation to make them highly effective, ethical leaders in a rapidly changing world. In the fall we will announce a number of new programs we are developing that build upon our strengths and prepare students for professions that will be in high demand for years to come. These programs will be delivered with our promised infusion of the strength of the liberal arts, underscoring values to form the leaders of the future.
Our partnerships with the business community through the new College of Professional Studies have affirmed the critical importance of the liberal arts—critical thinking, writing and speaking skills remain in high demand, and integrating these with professional skills, particularly for adult students, will continue to grow our strength and leadership of the adult and graduate market and our important place in Oakland's "Innovation District."
The Social Justice Institutes have received a stronger than ever call to duty this past year as racism and anti-Semitism created anguish in our community. We are taking up that call, as we always have, and are leading with a message about compassion and mercy, action and collaboration. The Atkins Endowed Center for Ethics is at the forefront in this mantle of promoting dialogue about ethical issues and justice across all peoples.
When the 2019-20 academic year gets underway in the fall, Carlow will be celebrating the 90th anniversary of our founding as an academic institution by the Sisters of Mercy. We will mark this milestone throughout the year with service projects, special events and opportunities to re-commit ourselves to graduating students who are dedicated to creating a just and merciful world. This is the foundational element that distinguishes the Carlow graduate. I hope you will find an opportunity to join us at one or more of the celebrations and join us in renewing this commitment to making a positive mark on our world.
As always, I appreciate all the support we receive from our alumni and friends to educate the next generation of leaders at all levels of their academic and career development. Thank you for building on the Carlow University legacy of creativity, excellence, values and service to our community and world.