In the News: Webster centennial, future highlight Stroble 'STL on the Air' interview

Jul. 20, 2015

In the News: Webster centennial, future highlight Stroble 'STL On The Air" interview

Webster University President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble was in studio at St. Louis Public Radio for a lengthy interview on the University's history and future with Don Marsh, host of the popular mid-day current issues show, "St. Louis on the Air." 

Marsh asked Stroble about the impact of Webster's first 100 years since its founding in the St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves in 1915, and the way its global mission has evolved and grown ever since.

Stroble shared the background behind Webster's global orientation -- dating back to the first two students from abroad after World War I -- the roots of international campus growth that truly took off in the 1970s, and issues affecting Webster and higher education today.

She also discussed the interests of today's students, such as the popularity of the new cybsersecurity programs among graduate students and the interest in the sciences among incoming undergraduate students, who will benefit from the new interdisciplinary science building scheduled to break ground this year.

The newest campuses and partnerships in Ghana, Greece and Cuba were also discussed, as was a major issue facing higher education in the United States today: affordability and access to financial aid for today's students. Stroble referenced the annual summer TAP "Transitions" program, an initiative through the Academic Resource Center that prepares incoming students for the transition to college. She called affordable completion to degree the most important public policy issue a university president can advocate.

On the philosophy behind Webster's global mission, Stroble said: "We don't see ourselves -- to use negative connotations associated with international work -- as imperialists who are trying to shape the rest of the world to an American worldview. Nor do we see ourselves as missionaries. We see ourselves as knitting together the bonds of humanity across cultures, politics, geographies, and helping to build a world that knows each other and is more sensitive to each other's needs. We are providing an American-style education that's tailored to meet the needs of that global population."

The episode, which aired Monday, July 20, at noon, is replayed the same day at 10 p.m. CDT. An archive of the episode is also available at the St. Louis On The Air site.

tags:  in the news, president, webster today,