Letter From Weber State President

Brad L. Mortensen, Ph D.,
Weber State

Since 1889, Ogden has been “Home of Weber State University.” The 132 years of great, Great, GREAT support provided by this community makes Weber State not only an exceptional university but YOUR exceptional university.

For example, earlier in 2021, Weber State ranked as the #19 Most Affordable with Best Return University in the United States out of over 2,000 colleges. Weber State is the only Utah System of Higher Education institution included in the top 50 of these rankings, and also the only open-enrollment institution on the affordable schools’ top 50 list.

Our vision propels us to provide this type of accessible, impactful education as we strive to be a leader in transforming lives by meeting all students where they are, challenging and guiding them to achieve their goals academically and in life.

This vision can be traced back exactly 100 years. In late summer 1921, a Weber College faculty member helped a young, first-generation student from western Weber County attend college and pursue his business dreams, even though he lacked the funds or high school credits to qualify. That faculty member, Aaron Tracy, went on to become the president of the college. And that student, J. Willard Marriott, Sr., went on to found a multi-billion dollar, international hospitality company.

In 2021, hundreds of dedicated faculty and staff seek to deliver that same Aaron Tracy-level of personalized support and mentoring to ensure students achieve success. Whether seeking an education to pursue graduate studies at elite institutions like Oxford or Carnegie Mellon University, or seeking an education that allows a single parent to provide immediately for family, Weber State offers boundless opportunities for learning with individualized attention. The impact of this often results in students achieving dreams far beyond what they believed they could realize.

Perhaps nothing illustrates the impact of this more than the fact that during the COVID-19 pandemic, our 2019-20 and 2020-21 graduating classes have been the largest ever recorded. We are fortunate that, before the pandemic, 20 percent of university classes were taught online, giving us the expertise in remote learning that enabled thousands of students to continue their education through historic disruptions. Yet we yearn for a return to in-person learning and on-campus activities this fall and invite you to join us physically or virtually for classes or events.

We also are fortunate that as a dual-mission university, we offer certificates, associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees that “stack” to allow students to lock in educational milestones. With any level of credential in hand, students can pursue career opportunities or build further academic qualifications, knowing that no personal or global crisis can strip them of their degree.

An ambitious few are even now pursuing their doctorate of nursing practice degree at WSU, our first doctoral program at the university.

Knowing the post-pandemic landscape would be changed, our Board of Trustees approved an updated strategic plan for the first time in over a decade. That plan — Weber State Amplified: A 5-year Plan for Growth — positions WSU to better serve the evolving workforce and civic needs of Ogden and the greater community. Follow us as we expand programs in engineering, computer science, health professions, sustainability, outdoor recreation, social work, supply chain management, arts learning, environmental science, digital literacy, and other areas to prepare graduates for the future of work and support a thriving and vibrant community.

As alumni, students, employees, fans, and future Wildcats, please know you are part of the Weber State family. We invite you to engage with us as we strive to give our home of Ogden a bright future.

Best,

Brad L. Mortensen, Ph.D.
President, Weber State University

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