To start a new year, look back at 2011-12’s biggest stories

To the Case Western Reserve University Community:

First, welcome back. It was wonderful to see so many of you fill our sidewalks again Monday.  As much as breaks represent a welcome part of the academic calendar, little compares to the energy and optimism that accompany the opening of a new semester.

One experience that comes close? The excitement involved in viewing our 2011-2012 annual report, Think Ahead.

As most of you know, the previous academic year proved stunning in several ways. From Gary Landreth’s breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research to our history-making first-year undergraduate class, you packed the calendar with landmark moments. In October we announced our capital campaign with a concert by the Goo Goo Dolls, while in May we welcomed Gmail developer and 1998 alumnus Paul Buchheit as our Commencement speaker. In between our students built a better way to patch potholes, and researchers realized downtown Cleveland is bucking urban population trends. You can learn about these stories and many more at And, as you watch, read or listen, I hope you’re inspired to find new ways to make the rest of this school year even more memorable.

Barbara R. Snyder