When faced with goodbye, write a letter

July 17, 2012

ASU alum, Valley writer seeks 'goodbye letters'

"One of these days, I'm gonna sit down and write a long letter, to all the good friends I've known." – Neil Young postmark Download Full Image

After the recent passing of her father, ASU alumnus Susan Geer, a Valley resident and writer, sat down and wrote a letter to her father – a "goodbye letter."

Geer said she found the experience to be so comforting that she felt inspired to begin collecting other goodbye letters from people who also have struggled with the loss of a parent, a child, a friend.  

“My idea is to collect and publish these letters that can heal and enrich those who are faced with saying goodbye, whether that is by death, leaving for the military, going to college or moving out," says Geer. "All letters of goodbye will be considered."

Geer holds a bachelor's degree in advertising from ASU, and her late father, Robert Huff, served as executive director of the Arizona Board of Regents from 1979 to 1986. He later became an ASU professor emeritus, teaching higher education management.

"I believe people are faced with the question of what do you say, how do you act when you may be seeing your loved one for the last time or for a long time," Geer says. "So, for me, I felt it was a positive, comforting and uplifting experience to get all my thoughts on to paper and give my father this letter."

Sincerity is the only rule for crafting a goodbye letter, says Geer. She suggests thinking about the person to whom you are writing and then writing about a specific incident with that person. Goodbye letters can be long or short, and they don't have to say everything. Finally, Geer says to give it to your loved one. If you can’t give it in person, then mail it, email it, have it delivered, or read it over the telephone. Be sensitive to the recipient's emotions and needs, Geer warns.

For those interested in sending a goodbye letter for publication consideration, you can email your letters to letters@lastgoodbyeletters.com or mail them to 1155 S. Power Rd., Suite 114, #65, Mesa, Ariz., 85206. Visit lastgoodbyeletters.com for more information.

“I can’t wait for the letters to come in," Geer says. "I think I will end up seeing a pattern, or a logical way to group the letters so I can formulate chapters based on subject matter. I hope the finished project will inspire others to write down their thoughts and feelings, and help them get through this difficult process.”

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

W. P. Carey School's online MBA program ranks among Top 15

July 17, 2012

New worldwide rankings are out for online MBA programs, an increasingly popular way to get a graduate degree. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is lauded among the Top 15 globally. The list from QS, a renowned Britain-based company that helps students in more than 35 countries to select MBA programs, names the W. P. Carey online MBA No. 15 worldwide and No. 7 among U.S.-based programs.

“Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report also ranked our online MBA program among only 14 on its first-ever Honor Roll for online graduate business programs,” says Robert Mittelstaedt, W. P. Carey School of Business dean. “The new QS rankings confirm that our online MBA program is easily among the best worldwide. We established the program in 2003, well before many other real, traditional universities understood this is an incredibly important frontier for business education.” Stacey Whitecotton Download Full Image

QS says there are at least 300 online MBA programs right now. The company also says this type of program has boomed over the last several years, jumping from just 4.4 percent of MBA students interested in 2008, up to 15.6 percent this year.

“The popularity of this form of study is increasing among candidates and MBA employers as they are starting to recognize the value of programs delivered by reputable schools,” says Nunzio Quacquarelli, editor of QS’ TopMBA Career Guide, in a news release. “While these programs provide a very different experience to the traditional full-time MBA, they give access to business education to a wider and growing motivated work force who are seeking a lifestyle education, a way to learn essential management skills, which fits with the reality of their lives.”

In the new rankings, QS looks at the best schools for student employability, program establishment date, student quality, faculty and teaching, and class experience and diversity. All ranked schools have to offer accredited online and distance-learning programs, while also providing other reputable business-education options. The W. P. Carey School is one of only three programs in the entire Top 15 based in the western half of the United States.

“The W. P. Carey School’s online MBA program is known for its exceptional faculty, made up of the same stellar educators teaching in our other MBA programs currently ranked Top 30 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report,” explains professor Stacey Whitecotton, associate dean for W. P. Carey MBA programs. “Our online MBA students get the same highly regarded degree as those in our acclaimed full-time and evening MBA programs.”

The W. P. Carey School’s online MBA program has grown from just 100 to more than 400 students over the last decade. NFL Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff completed the program, even while attending NFL training camp. Lieutenant Colonel Scott Coulson, who was awarded the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and a Combat Action Badge for his service and actions while leading combat missions in Iraq, also participated in the program while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. Several professionals who wanted to start their own businesses, such as law firms and medical practices, used the program to add business knowledge to their other fields of expertise.

The W. P. Carey online MBA is a two-year program in which students work in small, personalized teams with peers from other industries. Participants visit the ASU campus just once and then complete the program entirely via the Internet, making it extremely flexible and convenient. Students focus on just one course at a time and can earn their degrees with an area of emphasis, such as finance, international business, marketing or supply chain management, a field in which the W. P. Carey School consistently ranks Top 5 in the nation.

The school’s online MBA program is also recognized as an excellent value. Participants have a dedicated financial aid specialist and a career center to help them with job searches. For more information on the school’s MBA programs, go to wpcarey.asu.edu/mba.