May 17-18, 2001
ITEM 111-2005-R0501 Authorization to Confer the Title of Director Emeritus of General Studies upon Margaretha Wessel; Montana State University‑Bozeman
THAT: Upon the occasion of the retirement of Margaretha Wessel from Montana State University, the Board of Regents wishes to express its appreciation for her service to the University, the Montana University System, and the people of the State of Montana.
EXPLANATION: For more than 25 years, Dr. Margaretha Wessel has been at the heart and core of the university mission. The breadth of her dedication to education is unparalleled and has manifested itself in her guidance to thousands of students, and her extensive leadership and service to the MSU and Bozeman communities, as well as the state of Montana.
Since 1974, Dr. Wessel has devoted herself to developing and participating in a multitude of academic programs that have encouraged and promoted educational and career opportunities for students. Dr. Wessel’s most obvious impacts are the connections she has made with thousands of students in her 26-year tenure at MSU-Bozeman. Hundreds of students have received the benefit of the breadth of her educational scope and background, and the depth of her understanding of degree programs and their interrelationship with associated career fields.
It was Dr. Wessel’s insight and drive that initiated the General Studies Freshman Seminar (GENS 101V). Over the past 10 years, GENS 101V has grown from a one-credit course serving 30 students to a three-credit University Core designated course annually serving more than 600 entering students. This course has a proven record of benefits to the university, student body and Bozeman community. In addition, the Seminar has provided the opportunity for scores of upperclassmen to convey their experience and wisdom to freshmen while strengthening their own leadership skills. The success of the General Studies Freshman Seminar can be directly linked to the vision and ongoing support of Dr. Wessel and the late President Michael Malone. As the Pre-Health Professions Advisor for many years, Dr. Wessel provided thoughtful guidance for college students preparing for careers in the health field.
Few individuals can match Dr. Wessel’s energy, enthusiasm and commitment to students’ success through the educational doors of a university. It is evident that Dr. Wessel continually committed herself to assisting college students in viewing the world without barriers. In recognition of Dr. Wessel’s contributions to students’ success, she received the Mortar Board Society “Woman of the Month Award,” several Chamber of Commerce Awards (1989, 1991, 1994 and 2000), and was elected as a “Danforth Fellow.”
Dr. Wessel’s leadership and service to advance educational opportunities and academic excellence has been clearly exceptional during her tenure at MSU-Bozeman. She took a leadership role in the development and implementation of the University Core Curriculum, brought a university-wide perspective to almost every standing university committee, as well as many task forces and search committees. She has mentored countless graduate students and served on more than 20 graduate student committees. At the state level, Dr. Wessel’s commitment to education is evidenced by the “academic opportunities” workshops she has conducted at MSU-Northern and at Montana’s Tribal Colleges.
For these and many other contributions to the University, State and Nation, the Board of Regents of Higher Education is pleased to confer upon Dr. Wessel the title of Director Emeritus of General Studies at Montana State University.