The W, a gem that should be polished

November 16, 2009 7:18:00 AM



Talk of closure and merger is aggravating, because it has the power to turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Students lose confidence. Professors seek employment elsewhere. In light of hysterical headlines, who can blame them?  


I just wish that everyone responding with such enthusiasm to the possible closure of The W, or the suggested merger with Mississippi State, could really understand that Mississippi University for Women is truly an underappreciated gem, a gem deserving to be polished, not tossed out or inappropriately glued to another piece of jewelry. I have been teaching at The W for almost 13 years, and have been teaching full-time since 1990. I know of what I speak.  


Before I came to The W, I taught at a very expensive private college. The education that our students receive here is not only second to none and at an incredible bargain. The W fosters a small, private school atmosphere for a state school price and has catered to the needs of our young Mississippi women for more than 100 years, and our young Mississippi men for nearly 30.  


We are not a big state university and we do not want to be. Not because we are selfish and wish to preserve our little fiefdoms, but because we see what our kind of experience and attention to detail can accomplish in the classroom. We see what our campus environment produces in our graduates, who are, without a doubt, some of the most dedicated, intelligent and loyal people out there.  


They love The W. We love The W. Let''s not eradicate that uniquely beneficial experience.  


Leslie Stratyner, Columbus