We return from spring break on a high note as we celebrate our Women’s Basketball team’s 63-52 victory over Thomas More University to win the NAIA National Championship. After winning two rounds of tournament play at home to packed stands, the team traveled to Sioux City where they competed against some of the toughest squads in the country. Throughout the tournament, they carried themselves with grace on and off the court as they brought home the first national championship in school history. Clarke and the Dubuque Community welcomed them back with signs and cheers on Sunday, and all are invited to a pep rally beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21 that doubles as an excellent lead up to our annual #ClarkeDay celebration beginning on Wednesday.
Hear more from Women’s Basketball Coach Courtney Boyd in our first Catch Fletch video!
The basketball team was far from the only Clarkies making the university proud over spring break. While many of us took the time to relax, 12 students and three staff members volunteered their time on a service trip to Joppa, Tennessee with Clarke Campus Ministry. During their week of service, they worked at a food pantry, built a wheel-chair accessible ramp, and even deconstructed an aging barn. A special thank you goes to Sr. Kathleen Sinclair for organizing, and to all who participated in spreading our Clarke Core Values to a new community!
As we transition back to classes and work on campus, there will be many more points of pride to come, from Musical Menus and the premiere of our spring play, PersonA to Honors Banquet and Commencement. Alongside these celebrations, we continue to develop a strategic plan that will guide us to the end of a successful spring semester and set the course for months to come. Some of the key areas we are focusing on include:
- Retention and the Student Experience
- Recruiting Students
- Academic Excellence
- Living our Catholic Identity and Core Values
- Functional Value
- Financial Resources
- Recruiting and Retaining Employees
There are many projects underway that align with each of these areas, such as completing an academic program assessment to improve academic excellence, student retention, and more. Additionally, Clarke will be hosting an employee retreat on March 29 to promote productive teamwork across areas that will be fundamental to advancing these efforts. At the same time, students will enjoy Focus, Learn, and Engage Day, with sessions offering overall wellness practices to help them through midterms and the end of the semester. In addition, in partnership with the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, Clarke is providing free trolly transportation to a Career Fair at the Hotel Julien. From 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., students can meet with over 70 employers offering internships, part- and full-time positions.
With much to do, I am certain the spring semester will fly by for us all. In the meantime, I hope you will care for one another and celebrate the big and small moments of excellence along the way.