By Aria Cummings
On Wednesday, January 27, Evergreen’s new president, George Bridges, moderated an event in the Recital Hall of the Communication Building. During this event, Bridges shared his initial observations about the school’s students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members.
At the event, Bridges congratulated the Admissions Office on the 17 percent increase in applications, since last year. He also noted the 20th anniversary of the Longhouse, speaking about how important the Native Studies program is.
Bridges showed a PowerPoint presentation that surveyed the alumni who, because of their interdisciplinary background, felt confident about finding a job after graduating. The presentation also showed how many of the students were either students of color, coming from low-income families, were in the LGBTQ community, and how many needed extra help with reading, writing, and math.
President Bridges describes Evergreen, as not just one college, but four: the college of students, the college of social justice, the college of faculty, and the college of the Puget Sound. The college of students describes a place where the students devise their own curriculum based on their personal interests of what they want to study or based on the career they want after they graduate. The college of social justice, where students on campus are aware of pressing social issues that need to be addressed work collaboratively to understand how to address these problems. The college of faculty means all faculty members do their best to help students with their career aspirations and determine the best curriculum for those students who are still undecided about their aspirations. Finally, the college of Puget Sound describes a place that focuses on the environment, working to preserve the lush forests that surround the beachfronts of the Puget Sound.
Bridges ended his remarks by saying, “Evergreen’s future must always, always be firmly grounded in the visions of its founders. A public liberal arts college unlike any other, with a curriculum that is flexible and agile enough to adapt to change and that focuses directly on the individual needs of our students. And with our collective commitment, all of us, it must and can become a college that supports and affirms every individual, regardless of position or standing, regardless of whether you’re staff, faculty, or student, and one in which we routinely ask ‘how can we better serve our students now and in the future?’”