Our goal must always be to challenge our students and institution to excel in an environment dedicated to inclusiveness, innovation and respect.
Welcome to SUNY Old Westbury
I arrived at Old Westbury in January of 2021, during the most challenging moment of my career and arguably any president’s career. The pandemic and social justice upheaval, and the uncertainty they cause for higher education, made me question the prudence of my coming to SUNY Old Westbury at such a tumultuous time. My uncertainty was erased when I met with the faculty, staff, and students of our great college community. After listening to their reasons for coming here, and after learning about our college’s profound mission, everything became proverbially “crystal” for me.
In Old Westbury and its people, I found a mission that spoke to the core values that drove me as a student and ultimately as a practitioner in Higher Education. Here at Old Westbury, the values of excellence, success, community, and social justice impact course throughout the college’s life blood. I welcome you to our community that defines itself for its academic excellence, its commitment to granting opportunities to a broad spectrum of students and by its continuous impact on issues of social justice.
As you walk around our verdant campus and experience our 604 acres of preserved forest, this commitment may not be immediately evident. However, when you talk to faculty and students you will find it personified in its people and this is the Old Westbury that I welcome you to. Ours is an aggressively intellectual community with a 14:1 faculty to student ratio, and where faculty take their students’ success personally. When I asked students their top reason for staying at Old Westbury, they said, “the faculty is awesome!” When I asked faculty the same question, they said, “the students are awesome!” In SUNY Old Westbury I found that rare educational gem, where students and faculty believe in each other, and believe in student transformation through the above values. Thus, you will find faculty pushing students through academic rigor, self-reflection, open inquiry, ethical development and intellectual and social transformation, all within our “close educational experience.”
Our students enjoy a range of possibilities from being an engaged commuter to living on campus within a residential college experience. With over 60 student organizations ranging from clubs and interest groups to socially oriented student organizations, you will find like-minded peers to form a foundation for lifelong friendships. Old Westbury’s vibrant student led community provides fun and growth-oriented activities that are certain to prepare you for career success and a life of service.
I invite you to come and discover what I discovered in early January here at SUNY Old Westbury. Whether it is to learn, to work, or to engage in the life of the mind, I hope that you, like me, choose to make Old Westbury your home.
Dr. Timothy E. Sams