Dear alumni and friends of the Bayer School,

As you may know, this is my last year as dean of the school, and as such, this will be my last dean's message in Spectrum. In July I will have the great opportunity to re-join my colleagues as a full-time member of the Bayer School faculty. At the same time, we will welcome our new dean, Dr. Philip Reeder. Dean Reeder will bring with him new ideas, new priorities, and new ways of doing things; and the Bayer School will continue to evolve and flourish.

When I announced my decision three years ago to not seek another term as dean, I realized that, like our graduating students this past May, this would also be a year of lasts for me. My last matriculation ceremony for new freshmen, my last chance to preside over a graduation ceremony, my last opportunity to host a reception for our graduates and their families. But it has been a great 13 years, and the Bayer School today is a very different place than it was in 2000.

Since 2000, we have increased awareness of the quality of our science programs, leading to freshman applicant pools to the Bayer School that have increased by more than 400 percent. This increased demand has enabled us to become progressively more selective in our admission decisions, and full-time student enrollment in the Bayer School has grown by over 25 percent in just the last four years alone. Faculty and student research has proliferated, our research and educational infrastructure have evolved and grown, and our instrumentation infrastructure is state-of-the-art. Most of our current faculty were not here in 2000. And the Bayer School has become a crown jewel among Duquesne's 10 schools.

But these are not my accomplishments; rather, they are shared accomplishments. They are accomplishments that would not have been realized without the faculty, staff, students and families working together over the past 13 years.

I would like to close my message by just briefly reflecting on the word "privilege." It is a word that tends to be overused during commencements, during introductions, during awards ceremonies, and the like. It is a word that I do not use lightly or frequently, but it is a word that I choose to describe my experience as dean. Each year at commencement, it has been a privilege to look at the faces of our graduating students and realize the bright futures that await each of them. It has been a privilege to have such superb faculty, students and parents with whom to work for the past 13 years. It has been a privilege to meet and work with our alumni and to witness first-hand the wonderful things all of you are accomplishing. It has been a sincere privilege to have had the opportunity to serve as dean of the Bayer School, and for that privilege, I am forever grateful.

Sincerely,

Dr. David W. Seybert
Dean of the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

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