Summer 2004

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(Fall 2005)

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‘Growing Pains’ and Renewal: Another Exciting Speed Spring

Dear Alumni and Friends:

The J.B. Speed School of Engineering is 79 years old. It has had only six deans in its history, and I have just been named its seventh. I have spent my academic career here, in the Speed School , at the University of Louisville.

I have seen the school and the university cope with growing pains from the early days of its entry into the state university system. In my 29 years here, I have participated in the institutional metamorphosis from a small municipal university with an excellent engineering school into a rapidly growing, metropolitan research university with an even better engineering school.

My recent appointment as dean occurred in the wake of one of the most exciting times of the school year: Commencement weekend. We were very pleased to host 20 of our golden alumni in May. It was quite nostalgic to watch and listen as the alumni and their spouses reminisced about their Speed School experiences in the early 1950s, e.g., the difficult professors and classes shared, the interesting co-op experiences, extramural activities, fraternities and dating, first jobs and careers.

Then on May 8 we held graduation ceremonies at Freedom Hall. I was privileged to greet and shake the hands of all the students who participated in the unit convocation as they walked across the stage—in essence, to be present at the launch of new careers and to observe the cycle of professional life beginning once more.

These are the experiences that energize even veteran university faculty and administrators like me. Students are the reason for our existence. And if we do our jobs well, they become loyal alumni.

Please come to visit us, correspond with us or give us a call. It means a lot.

Mickey Wilhelm

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