In January, Western Governors University’s Northeast Region team hosted alumni, students, faculty, and staff at Chelsea Piers, along the Hudson River in Manhattan. As the sun set over the water and the lights from New Jersey shimmered in the distance, an enthusiastic WGU community joined President Scott Pulsipher and Regional Vice President Rebecca Watts to celebrate WGU’s 25th anniversary year and share stories about how WGU has changed their lives for the better.
It wasn’t necessarily an easy decision to come out for many, as the uncertainty of COVID-19 and an omicron variant surge lingered into the new year. But the desire to connect with other WGU Night Owls motivated some in the crowd to drive many hours to attend.
The event was a chance for WGU faculty and staff to connect more closely with students and graduates. In fact, when College of Business graduate Dave O. walked into the room, he recognized Julian T., who had been his M.B.A. program mentor many years before. It was the first time they had met in-person.
Throughout the night, current students remarked on the difference WGU has made in their lives, providing educational pathways to opportunity they might not otherwise have had. B.S. in computer science student Diego N.D. said he is proud to be a WGU student because of the flexibility that it offers.
Dr. Roberta M., a student in the M.B.A. in healthcare management degree program, said she likes the way the school assigns each student a program mentor. She said her mentor, “understands the struggles I go through as a working parent, and that is revolutionary.”
M.B.A alumnus Isaias R. said, “I was able to learn so much about the business field and really help to start my own business. I’m truly grateful for that.”
Janet J., a student earning her B.S. in nursing, said, “It took me step-by-step on how to become a professional nurse. WGU is the best university ever.”
In his remarks, President Pulsipher said, “It is awesome to be here with all of you. Thank you for being a part of WGU, because while 25 years is amazing, the reality is it’s only a shadow of things to come.”