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West campus earns Phoenix ‘Point of Pride’

January 03, 2008

ASU’s West campus has been selected as a finalist in the Phoenix Pride Commission’s consideration as a “Point of Pride” designation. The honor, which is awarded every four years, recognizes a landmark or attraction unique to and located within Phoenix that evokes a sense of pride among area residents.

“This is quite an honor,” says Elizabeth Langland, vice president and dean of ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. “The real reward will come with the designation itself. I’m proud of this campus’ long tradition of partnering with our local communities to enhance life in the west valley and metropolitan Phoenix, as well as the scholarship programs we offer and the research we conduct.”

In choosing the 300-acre home to four of ASU’s 21 schools and colleges for Point of Pride consideration, the commission noted the West campus’ creation by the state Legislature in 1984, its nearly 9,000-strong student body and its location in northwest Phoenix, where it serves as “the centerpiece of a burgeoning region of commerce, recreation, arts and lifelong learning opportunities.”

The campus, boasting ASU’s New College, the College of Human Services, the College of Teacher Education and Leadership, and the School of Global Management and Leadership, offers more than 40 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs and is “a commanding and respected component of ASU’s multicampus ‘New American University’ vision.”

“The West campus is the embodiment of (ASU) President Michael Crow’s focus on excellence, access and impact,” says Langland, who took the reins of New College in September after serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs for State University New York-Purchase College (SUNY-Purchase). “We have an obligation and a responsibility to the community to provide access to higher education and to be responsive to the explosive growth of metropolitan Phoenix, which continues to move west. There is excellence in our academic programs, and in the expertise of our nationally and internationally recognized faculty, enabling our graduates to advance in their chosen careers and to become significant contributors to this community.

“The impact we have in our community is significant and lasting. From partnerships with local agencies and organizations, to placing our students as teachers in underserved school districts throughout the state, to faculty and student research that is solution-based and focused on the improvement of the quality of life locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.”

Thirty locations have earned Point of Pride designation, ranging from the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa to the Wrigley Mansion. While ASU’s West campus would represent the first institute of higher education to gain such notoriety, the Deer Valley Rock Art Center, which features petroglyphs left on more than 500 boulders, is managed by ASU’s anthropology department.

Other finalists chosen from a field of 59 nominated sites are: Burton Barr Central Library, George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, Cesar Chavez Park, Chase Field, Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center, Murphy Bridle Path, North Mountain Visitor Center, Pioneer Living History Museum, Royal Palms Hotel.