Dear Alumni, Students, Faculty and Friends,

It is with mixed emotions that I write this—my last letter in this magazine. As many of you know, I have decided to retire after 12 years at the School of Business.

I am proud of all the School has accomplished during the past 12 years. I am sure the students have benefited from their home in our beautiful new building. No longer do we have to search for students and faculty in seven different locations. And the new dean will not see students sprawled out in the hallways studying. They now have several dedicated study lounges. The next dean will be able to watch both our undergraduates and graduate students manage more than $1 million in our state-of-the-art capital markets trading laboratory. In fact, I hope that the undergraduates will see another infusion of funds into their portfolio through the Dean’s Legacy Fund, recently inaugurated by the Board of Advisors.

With the help of the faculty, we have shepherded the School through two rigorous accreditation reviews and renewed and enriched our entire curriculum, building new vitality into our programs and infusing an emphasis on ethics and globalization. Our faculty has grown, and our research has flourished with the addition of several University Selective Excellence Signature Programs and many faculty innovations. The finances of the School are in solid shape, and we are closer to “right sizing” our enrollment at all levels with more competitive teaching loads.

Our accomplishments have been recognized within the University and externally, and we can now say our undergraduate and full-time MBA programs are solidly Top 50, while many of our individual programs are now cited as among the best in the world (see Points of Pride, inside front cover). This has made the job of recruiting top students and faculty easier, and it has strengthened our external relations.

The F. David Fowler Career Center is making great progress and is opening doors for our students during difficult economic times. Our development staff has tripled in size, with a joint commitment from the University and our own staff to help us raise funds to expand our ability to grant scholarships, bolster research and improve operations.

Together we have set a joint goal to propel the School into the Top 25 business schools in the next five years. We have a committed, active Board of Advisors (see Mitch Blaser, p. 8). Its members have helped the School with their generous gifts of wealth, work and wisdom. Our alumni program is flourishing— the School of Business held more than 50 events for our graduates across the country and around the world last year.

We have much to be proud of and many happy memories. I will be watching with great pride as the School continues its upward trajectory in the coming years. I thank you for your support and friendship throughout my years at GW. Best wishes for continued success,

Susan M. Phillips' Signiture

Susan M. Phillips
Dean and Professor of Finance
The George Washington University School of Business