Message from the President

Message from the President

Nurse helping patient
“We hold our futures in our hands”
Plymouth State, now in its 153rd year as an institution and our twentieth as a university, is meeting the challenges of higher education’s changing landscape. What unites our efforts is a deep belief in our students’ potential and a drive to innovate. We’re creating new opportunities to take advantage of rapid advances in technology, an evolving marketplace, and the needs of the communities and state we serve.
President Donald L. Birx Portrait
PSU is alive with energy and accomplishments.

A year ago we inaugurated the new Morgridge Strength and Performance Lab, a state-of-the-art facility that’s more than ten times larger than the one it replaced. It surpasses what you’ll find at many Division I schools and is the final piece completing the Human Performance Center. Not only do student athletes make full use of the facility, but it is also a teaching Open Lab for a wide range of health and science academic programs available through PSU’s innovative Cluster Learning model, such as exercise and sport physiology and human performance, athletic training, and advanced graduate programs for physical therapists. There is really nothing like it.

We are grateful for the donors who make this possible, John ’85 and Carrie Morgridge. I am incredibly proud that over 90 percent of the funds raised came from alumni donors.

With help from a $1 million federal appropriation received last year through the efforts of Senator Shaheen, we’re completing a state-of-the-art robotics lab in the Draper and Maynard Building. The lab will benefit both the next-generation robotics workforce and machine-learning manufacturers, and it’s attracting interest from regional firms who see PSU as a vital pipeline for the highly skilled, twenty-first century workers that they depend on.

Nursing also faces critical staffing shortages, and Senator Shaheen was again instrumental in securing $2.1 million in federal funding to support nursing workforce expansion. We’re renovating the Samuel Read Hall Building and another site to expand the program’s physical learning space, allowing us to meet the demand for the next generation of nurses.

The validation of our efforts that we’ve received on the federal side has been complemented by a one-time bump in the level of state support.

classroom of students working on computers
Hyde Hall is PSU’s largest classroom building. Opened in 1976, it addresses neither current teaching strategies nor the expectations of today’s marketplace. A major renovation is now underway and will be of significant benefit to the University’s dynamic and growing School of Applied Business and its accounting, economics, finance, marketing, and sales programs. Collaboration spaces within Hyde Hall will promote new and expanded networking and partnership programs between students, faculty, and businesses, and the renovation will better facilitate Cluster Learning. Antiquated building systems are being replaced with modern and efficient ones that will save resources and cost less to operate, all while providing a more realistic and inspiring business atmosphere showcasing PSU and its students in the best possible light to prospective enrollees, external program partners, and potential employers. Please see additional information here.

We’re also renovating six of the White Mountain Apartments to meet the demand for on-campus housing.

The impact of the IDEA Center is far-reaching. Programs and presentations are spurring important discussions in a new forum for sharing and learning. It’s also helped to boost enrollment, enrich our campus climate, and better prepare students for success.

University Advancement has done a fantastic job. Despite an up and down economy, 875+ alumni and friends helped us raise over $300,000 to support Plymouth State students in the largest Giving Week total ever. Student Life has been nothing less than stellar in planning and executing hundreds of events and activities.

Campus housing under construction
Enrollment is critically important to all that we do, and we’re seeing some early indications of success as we recruit next year’s incoming undergraduates. Our initial open house exceeded last year’s volume and feedback was overwhelmingly positive. We’ve had good reports from the road as well, which includes travel to northern New Jersey for the first time since the pandemic. We’re attracting increased interest on the graduate side through webinars for experienced educators on AI, Trauma in the Classroom, and other cutting-edge topics.

Forging new partnerships and strategies are crucial to our success because what we do here doesn’t take place in a vacuum. The University System of New Hampshire (USNH), to which PSU belongs, is exploring ways to assure future sustainability of both the system and its constituent institutions. We’re working on a preliminary plan this fall and a final plan by January to be as effective and efficient as possible.

There is wealth of opportunity out there and to remain competitive, we need to think of ourselves as entrepreneurs. We hold our futures in our hands, and we’ve developed a unique Cluster educational model that we continue to enhance and improve.

Thank you for being a member of our supportive community as we advance to the future. I firmly believe that PSU’s best days lie ahead and I invite you to join us as we move forward! ■ President Donald L. Birx