The fall semester is officially over at Case Western Reserve University. Staff members will soon leave campus for the university’s winter recess. And people all around the world will ring in the new year in just over a week.
But before we set our sights on new beginnings, let’s first take a look back to see some of the biggest stories at Case Western Reserve in 2023.
Relive some of the year’s high points with this sampling of The Daily’s top stories from each of the past 12 months.
Earlier this year, the university’s police department welcomed a new officer to its ranks: its first K9, Spartie. Working alongside his handler, officer Jimiyu Edwards, Spartie’s primary duty is to offer comfort and support to the campus community.
Programmers and 3D artists at the Interactive Commons, along with CWRU anatomy faculty, developed the HoloAnatomy® Software Suite to teach human anatomy in a more intuitive, cost-effective way using holographic imagery. Building on the university’s long history of bringing influential research into the public domain, CWRU announced the launch of Ilumis Inc. to accelerate product innovation, improve partner service and rapidly scale the potential of this revolutionary learning platform.
Earlier this year, a small Ohio community about 90 miles southeast of campus was rocked by the derailment of a train carrying flammable materials. The resulting fire led to the evacuation of residents—and many questions about the potential health and environmental consequences. Peter Whiting, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of earth, environmental, and planetary sciences, offered his expertise to help us understand the disaster.
Eight researchers affiliated with Case Western Reserve University were named senior members of the National Academy of Inventors—the largest class ever from the university and from any member institution since the academy began the awards in 2018.
On Match Day in March, graduating medical student Tamia Potter learned she would be heading to Vanderbilt University as a neurosurgery resident—becoming the first Black woman to join the program in the school’s nearly 150-year history. Her story made national headlines, with people from across the country celebrating her accomplishment.
CWRU was also on the national stage when CBS aired a 60 Minutes segment featuring work by biomedical engineers Dustin Tyler and Bolu Ajiboye, who are bringing a renewed sense of touch to amputees and people with paralysis using neuroprosthetics.
Members of the Class of 2022 had a solid start to their careers, as evidenced by the First Destination Survey released this spring. Their initial post-graduation outcomes revealed that a record high of 56% of graduates directly entered the workforce.
U.S. News & World Report changed the way the publication ranks graduate and professional programs, with an added emphasis on outcomes. The updated methodology affected CWRU programs differently, but Weatherhead School of Management saw impressive gains in its full-time MBA program ranking.
After two consecutive seasons with second-place finishes in the NCAA championship, the men’s tennis team made university history by winning the whole thing in 2023. With the victory, the Spartans became the first-ever CWRU team to win an NCAA national team championship. Just a few days later, student-athletes James Hopper and Vishwa Aduru continued the team’s success by winning the 2023 NCAA Division III Doubles Championship.
Earlier this year, Ben Vinson III stepped down as Case Western Reserve’s provost to become president of Howard University, a nationally renowned historically Black institution in Washington, D.C. During Vinson’s tenure at CWRU, which began in 2018, he oversaw the creation of a new strategic plan, guided the launch of the new General Education Requirements for undergrads, and implemented a program that enhanced faculty hiring practices and graduate student recruitment.
This summer, CWRU announced a historic new investment in research: a roughly 200,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art structure to be dedicated to collaborative discovery and innovation. Estimated to cost $300 million, the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building represents the university’s largest-ever Case Quad project.
CWRU got a new look in 2023 with a branding update, including refreshed logos and a brighter color scheme. The new visual identity aimed to reflect the university’s stance as an innovative institution while honoring its history.
When a fire destroyed units in an East Cleveland apartment building over the summer, Case Western Reserve stepped up to provide temporary assistance. Collaborating with the American Red Cross, university leaders provided interim housing on campus for about 100 residents while property managers worked to find more permanent solutions.
CWRU honored faculty members who dedicated significant portions of their careers to the university. Cynthia Beall, Distinguished University Professor Emerita and the Sarah Idell Pyle Professor of Anthropology, and Jonathan Entin, the David L. Brennan Professor Emeritus in the School of Law, shared memories from their decades-long careers at CWRU.
Case Western Reserve welcomed its newest class of undergraduate students to campus in August. They began their journeys as Spartans with a jam-packed week of events and programming. As they got to know campus, the university community had the chance to learn more about them, too.
A team of researchers led by Anthony “Tony” Jack, the Elmer G. Beamer – Hubert H. Schneider Chair in Ethics, completed a study that used neuroimaging to peer into the brains of participants as they responded to two different styles of coaching. Through their work, they set out to see what happens in the brain that either helps people grow or causes them to resist change.
CWRU expanded its Cleveland Scholars program with an announcement by President Eric W. Kaler that eligible Cleveland and East Cleveland public high school graduates admitted to the university will receive financial support covering the entire cost of attendance—as well as a mentored, paid research or internship experience on campus.
In recognition of the innovative spirit displayed across campus, CWRU recognized four researchers with this year’s Faculty Distinguished Research Award. The winners—Umut Gurkan, Ralph Harvey, Robert Kirsch and Xin Qi—were honored during Innovation Week.
After years of planning and renovations, Eldred Hall—the first student center of Adelbert College of Western Reserve University—went back to its roots. With broad support from student organizations and university leadership, the historic hall in the heart of Case Quad was brought back to life as a student-focused space.
Case Western Reserve’s annual homecoming celebration included the 100th anniversary of Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, the induction of the Class of 1973 as Graduates of Distinction, a football victory over Westminster, and more than 100 events for alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of the university.
Case Western Reserve placed 21st among the nation’s colleges and universities in a new, entirely data-driven ranking by Research.com. Rather than using peer assessments, this ranking instead emphasized research-related data.
After 12 years of dedication helping establish Sears think[box] as the largest open-access university-based innovation center and makerspace in the United States, Ian Charnas recently marked his last day at CWRU. Now, Charnas is taking on a new challenge as a senior engineer at CrunchLabs, the umbrella company that manages Mark Rober’s YouTube channel.
President Eric W. Kaler and Interim Provost Joy K. Ward recently announced that the university’s next vice president for student affairs will be Travis T. Apgar, an associate vice president and dean of students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
President Eric W. Kaler announced recently that Joy K. Ward will be Case Western Reserve’s next provost and executive vice president, effective Jan. 1. Since becoming interim provost, Ward has led development of a strategic initiative to add 100 net new tenured and tenure-track faculty positions, collaborated on planning for the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building and overseen the launch of a restructured Undergraduate Advising Support Office and implementation of new Undergraduate General Education Requirements.