How does a community strengthen itself?

Here in the Twin Ports, we become a more robust and healthy metro area each fall when more than 20,000 college students arrive on the five campuses of higher education in Superior and Duluth.

As the students settle in to begin the academic year, their goals are ambitious and varied; but they share one important trait: They all are here to learn. They want to prepare for meaningful careers. They are investing in themselves and in their futures through study and hard work.

In our positions, we are so grateful for the opportunity to interact with our students. They challenge and inspire us. They give us hope for the future.

During their educational journey, they add immeasurably to our culture. They contribute millions of dollars to our local economy. Just as importantly, they contribute community-service hours and add to our region’s supply of entrepreneurial creativity and informed citizenship. They enliven our arts and sports scenes.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Once they have earned their degrees, some will move on to other parts of the world. But many will stay in our area, and these are the future professionals who will create new businesses, design and maintain infrastructure, care for our sick and vulnerable, and educate our young. A roster of alumni from Twin Ports colleges and universities who are leaders in local corporate, nonprofit, health care, and governmental sectors would be impressive indeed.

Higher education is second to none when it comes to strengthening our regional workforce.

The Northland is fortunate to benefit from this infusion of human capital.

We hope you will join us in greeting these optimistic, talented, and energetic students as appreciated neighbors.

You are always welcome on our campuses. Please come by to attend a talk, enjoy a concert, or cheer on an athletic team. Let the students know you’re glad they are here.

Lendley Black is chancellor of the University of Minnesota Duluth. Stephanie Erdmann is the administrator for the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-Superior. Barbara McDonald is president of the College of St. Scholastica. Patricia Rogers is president of Lake Superior College. And Renee Wachter is chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Superior.