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AB address highlights students, faculty and staff

PHILIPPI — Alderson Broaddus University President Dr. James “Tim” Barry presented his triannual State of the University address virtually to faculty, staff, and administrators on Jan. 21. The virtual format allowed the president to update the campus community while adhering to COVID-19 precautions.

Barry’s address opened with a welcome message for new faculty and staff members, acknowledged the many challenges ahead, and reiterated the mission statement. “Every institution in the country is going through many of the issues that are facing Alderson Broaddus,” Dr. Barry explained. “A mission statement binds us together as a community, and all of us draw sustenance, strength, and willingness to meet our opportunities and issues with hope and forbearance.”

Barry continued with an outline of the fall 2020 academic semester and emphasized the faculty, staff, and students’ unrelenting dedication. “We managed, together, to deal with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. I thank all of you that worked so closely and assiduously together to manage this unparalleled situation in higher education.”

Noting that the academic semester began successfully with in-person instruction and the initial phase of the Memorial Coliseum renovation project was completed, Barry looked toward the current academic year. He highlighted fundamental areas of importance to the continued success of the university. He pointed out efforts and initiatives taken to address the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and diversity on campus.

Barry shared findings from Alderson Broaddus University’s economic impact study completed in May of last year.

“A lot of people often wonder what we do for the community, and the Economic and Social Impact Statement was something we created to respond to that,” he explained. Alderson Broaddus added $46.1 million to Barbour County’s economy and the surrounding area in the academic year 2019-20 through its investments in its students’ educational success. Expressed in terms of employment, AB’s impact supported 287 jobs–a 48.6 percent increase of jobs in the community over ten years.

“Everywhere you look, AB is making a sizeable impact in the community and surrounding areas,” said Barry. As such, the study results underscore the university’s vital role in contributing to the economic life and well-being of Barbour County and the surrounding area.

In closing, Barry shared final thoughts of encouragement and pride. “We are doing our best to respond to the ever changing climate of higher education during the time of COVID-19. We have been through the verities of life. Each of us will continue to be a presence in the life of AB.”

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