Richland, Wash. — As I prepare to leave for a new position in Indiana, I want to personally thank this community for its zealous advocacy of Washington State University Tri-Cities. Just prior to my arrival in 2006, this community sought four-year expansion of WSU Tri-Cities from the state Legislature. One year before, WSU Vancouver, University of Washington Tacoma and UW Bothell had been authorized to admit freshmen. Our communitys united voice convinced the Legislature to establish WSU Tri-Cities as a four-year campus as well. One of my proudest moments is when I welcomed the first freshman class in August 2007. Since that time, community collaborations have continued to press forward other exciting initiatives. These include: w The Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory opened in May 2008 in partnership with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the state. The states first star researcher, Dr. Birgitte Ahring, was recruited to lead this WSU team. w The Columbia Center Rotary Stage is a wonderful outdoor venue that opened in spring 2012 with financial backing from Columbia Center Rotary, the City of Richland and the Associated Students of WSU Tri-Cities. w The Wine Science Center is well on its way toward groundbreaking in 2013. With gifts from private donors, the City of Richland, the Port of Benton and the Washington Wine Commissions industry members, the Wine Science Center will position the Tri-Cities as an international epicenter for wine research and education. w WSU Tri-Cities launched a $25 million fundraising campaign in 2010. More than $12 million has been raised to date, with gifts large and small, because of the belief that WSU Tri-Cities is essential to the economic vitality of our community. Leadership gifts from CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Co. and Washington River Protection Solutions funded critical faculty positions and laboratory equipment to expand our engineering programs allowing us to offer a four-year civil engineering bachelors degree in addition to computer science, electrical and mechanical engineering degrees. w On August 29, the EnergySolutions Engineering Laboratory will open with a 1 p.m. ceremony. Although this $3 million facility is being donated to WSU, it will house EnergySolutions and NuVision teams during the next two years as they test new technologies in waste treatment. wWSU Tri-Cities is working toward federal designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution. Students of color make up more than 20 percent of enrollment, bringing a diverse richness of life experiences to the classroom and campus life. w Our long-standing and multi-faceted partnerships with PNNL continue to thrive. PNNL scientists and engineers teach numerous courses, introducing undergraduate and graduate students to advanced energy, security, environmental and scientific research. High-profile partnerships in the smart grid arena are in early planning discussions. w TRIDEC, the Tri-Cities Research District, the city of Richland, and others embrace higher educations role in economic development. Legislators advocate for our campus in Olympia. These voices have protected and strengthened our campus during trying times statewide. I especially thank the four chairs of the campus Advisory Council with whom I worked: Tom Cowan, Mike Schwenk, Brad Fisher and current chair Mike Kluse. Advisory Council members devote countless hours helping to develop and implement the vision for WSU Tri-Cities through their personal financial support, fundraising and advocacy. Even though the media prefer to observe, I thank the Tri-City Herald for being a champion for higher education and for the continued growth and development of this campus and of Columbia Basin College. Lastly, and most importantly, I thank the faculty, staff and students for caring for and nurturing this campus, for the sacrifices made in times of financial crises so we could continue to grow and expand programs, for taking the extra step and working the extra hours to assure services were delivered, and for making gifts of personal funds during four straight years of no salary increases to provide scholarships to our students. WSU Tri-Cities is a better place and has been made stronger by their work and commitment to its mission. For my husband, Bill, and me, the Tri-Cities has been a wonderful place to live and work. We so appreciate the friendships we have made these six years. Thank you all for your support during my tenure and for your continued work on behalf of WSU Tri-Cities. Vicky L. Carwein served as chancellor of Washington State University Tri-Cities in Richland from September 2006 through July 2012. She now is the incoming chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.