The day before I wrote this note, the
second presidential debate had just
taken place. It opened with a question
from a college student. Concerned
about finding his first job, he asked
the candidates about his prospects.
By now the election is over, but that
same question remains for many
Winona State students and their
families. It’s particularly important to
students approaching graduation.
While they’ll soon be armed with their
degrees, they’re also aware that the
average WSU student borrows about
$31,000. Job or no job, the repay-
ment reminders will arrive with the
next day’s mail (although the loan
default rate for WSU students is the
lowest in the state).
That was on our minds as we planned
the Winter 2012 issue. It features
young alumni at varying stages of
their work and lives. They’re the
teachers, account managers, nurses,
even a NASA physicist, who make
up the backbone of our communi-
ties. Some have taken a conventional
path; others have been creative in
finding and sustaining their careers.
All of their stories are compelling and
Share your own stories about work
and life with your fellow alumni.
Submit your class notes, career
milestones, and family news online at
Brett Ayers, Editor
Another year. Another set of top rankings
for Winona State. U.S. News & World
Report’s 2013 edition of “Best Colleges”
named ranked WSU second among public
universities in Minnesota in the Midwest
category of “Best Regional Universities.”
The university is ranked seventh overall in
Minnesota, fifteenth among publics in the
Midwest, and as the 58th regional univer-
sity in the Midwest, up from 62nd in 2012.
U.S. News & World Report ranks more
than 1,600 schools nationwide, based on
a set of up to sixteen widely accepted
indicators of excellence.
The Princeton Review, a
nationally known education
services company, has also
ranked Winona State as “Best in the
Midwest.” It’s the ninth straight year that
WSU has received the designation. Rank-
ings are based on student opinion data
on several issues, from accessibility of
professors to the quality of campus food.
The U.S. News rankings are available
For The Princeton Review rankings:
Newly Named Kirkland Hall
Winona State’s newest residence hall got a name change in early September. Kirkland
Hall, a 200-bed residence hall along Mark Street, was dedicated with a Hawaiian-
themed event. The residence hall was named for Melvin and Lois Kirkland, lifelong
educators whose $1.25 million scholarship gift is among the most generous in WSU
Foundation history. The Kirklands taught in the Seattle public schools before retiring
to Hawaii in 1979.