Admissions ready for new students

Photo by Sabrina Pankratz Graduate Assistant Sameer Bhattarai assists student worker Ezekiel Thompson with his student worker card inside the student card center on the Southwest Minnesota State University campus on Wednesday.

MARSHALL– Southwest Minnesota State University is ready for incoming freshmen.

“We are excited to extend a warm Mustang welcome to the Class of 2023,” said Admissions Director Matt Suby. “Gold Rush Days offer a variety of opportunities to connect with campus, the Marshall community, and fellow freshmen,”

Freshman can look forward to plenty of activities that will acclimate themselves to student life, and connect with other students on campus.

“Gold Rush Days brings with it a sense of community,” President Kumara Jayasuriya said. “On the first day of Gold Rush Days, there’s a real energy as our faculty, staff, administrators, athletic teams, students and community members come together to move our new students into the residence halls. It has become a wonderful tradition, and immediately lets the students and their parents know that SMSU is a welcoming university.”

Activities to take place will be a campus cookout, laser tag, pool party, volleyball tournament, and many other events to welcome students to campus.

This is Jayasuriya’s first year as president at SMSU and he said he is excited for the year to begin.

“I look forward to getting to know SMSU, its faculty and staff, and of course, its students. One of the things that impressed me during my first month is the sense of community at SMSU, and how vital it is to Marshall, and the region,” Jayaysuriya said.

One change that has been made while students have been away on summer break is the Office of Admissions has been moved from Founders Hall to the second floor of the Student Center. “That move was made because the Student Center is the hub of activity of the campus, and we want visiting students to feel that energy, and get a sense of what it’s like to be a student at SMSU,” Jayaysuriya said.

Jayaysuriya said the RN to BSN program was recently ranked fourth in state and recent graduates are 100 percent employed or in grad school. “SMSU is a unique university, with thousands of success stories that I look forward to hearing, and telling,” Jayaysuriya said.

“I look forward to the start of the 2019-20 academic year, and meeting people in the coming months who are loyal supporters and instrumental in helping to build SMSU into the outstanding institution it is today,” Jayaysuriya said.

New for returning students, Dr. Teri Wallace was named as interim provost and vice president for academic and student affairs. Wallace came to SMSU from Minnesota State University, Mankato because she appeals to SMSU’s focus on connecting education with the workforce needs. “I believe it’s the perfect way for us to meet the pressing workforce needs in the area,” Wallace said.

Wallace will replace Dr. Dwight Watson, who was recently named chancellor (president) of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

“We’re very pleased to have someone with Dr. Wallace’s background and qualifications join our administrative team,”Jayasuriya said.

“I’m looking forward to joining President Jayasuriya and working with faculty and staff on behalf of the students. SMSU clearly has a strong reputation and I look forward to being a part of that,” Wallace said.