10,000 Reasons is a lot more than a name. It is our motivation for this entire campaign: we must better prepare every one of our 10,000 current students for the challenges and opportunities they face. We should know. We were two of them. We each walked these halls as students, went out and put our degrees to good use, and then, over time, felt the pull of the place that had done so much for us. Today we are humbled by the opportunity to give back in this way.
Any one Salem State student should make a compelling case for your support. On the whole, they overcome more obstacles than most on their way to a bachelor’s degree. Many are first-generation college students, Pell grant recipients, veterans, or working parents. Some carry two and even three jobs. As a community we embrace this diversity, and we achieve more because of it.
We all know we can’t support our students without supporting our faculty. They are compassionate and ever present, and we count them with admiration among the ten thousand. Rare is the alum who doesn’t have a story to share about a faculty member who changed their world in some profound way. Administrators and other employees, too, are just as often cited as champions of that same spirit.
More than anything else, 10,000 Reasons is a story of real people who have dedicated themselves to helping others, and who strive every day to make Salem State a world-class institution. So let’s begin by announcing to the rest of the world that we are already meeting its standard, and in so many ways. Let’s be clear that we are meeting that standard in spite of major obstacles, not the least of which is a 60 percent decrease in public funding over the past 50 years. And let’s make sure we don’t pass on the rising costs of higher education to the students who can least afford it.
This is a campus that offers more opportunity and promise than ever before, but it still needs your support to succeed. The future we aspire to will not wait.
Henry Bertolon ‘74 & Kim Gassett-Schiller ‘83
Co-Chairs, 10,000 Reasons Campaign