Dear friends and colleagues,
Western Michigan University is home to remarkably gifted students. We take pride in educating, supporting and applauding them as they leverage their talents to realize their dreams and ambitions. This semester, the Bronco student highlighted on the cover has taken his talents to international heights.
Torrey Cookman is a Medallion Scholar, a member of Lee Honors College, a mechanical engineering student and an international luge competitor. This semester Torrey has competed in international luge competitions in Italy, Austria, Germany and Romania against top athletes from around the world. There is no doubt he has the tenacity, endurance and high-level training to perform on the world stage. And what’s more impressive is this honor student is concurrently using those same attributes to remain at the top of his game academically. He’s advancing in his studies even as he competes at the most elite athletic levels.
At Western, we encourage students to pursue their purpose at all stages of life and in all possible ways. They’re not waiting to make their impact on the world. Torrey is going after greatness one luge track at a time as a scholar-athlete. Other students are striving for excellence and achieving it in other realms.
In this edition, you’ll also read about United Sound, a student group that recently performed with the United States Navy Band in Chicago at the largest instrumental music education conference in the world. Playing alongside our students for this major opportunity were their own musical mentees, as United Sound helps young adults with disabilities learn to play instruments. Tutored by our Broncos, the program participants displayed their burgeoning musicianship on a big stage to an adoring crowd—an experience everyone involved can cherish for a lifetime.
While their peers are helping budding musicians build skills, rising Bronco entrepreneurs are working to build businesses through the Starting Gate student business accelerator. The program is celebrating 10 years. Like those before them, the 2022-23 cohort has developed all kinds of creative ways to meet consumer needs—and not just after graduation but today.
Whether our students are living out their own dreams, finding new ways to help others succeed or just getting equipped to launch the next big idea in business, our Broncos are making their mark while preparing for lives and careers that are rich and rewarding.
Edward Montgomery, PhD
M. Scott Johnson came to Western as a member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholars Academy and began exploring disciplines across campus, including anthropology, history, geography and theology. He built on that foundation, along with impressive apprenticeships, to become a sought-after artist.
Students in Western's College of Aviation will be able to participate in SkyWest's Pilot Pathway Program or AMT Pathway Program, which will offer opportunities for mentorship, tuition reimbursement and ultimately jobs with the airline.