Tressel Delivers Final Welcome Message at Start of Semester

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel
welcomed the YSU community to campus at the start of spring semester for the
final time before his retirement at the end of the month.

In the message to students, faculty and staff delivered Monday morning, Tressel told
the YSU community that he and his wife, Ellen, would always support the university in
the next chapter of their lives after they end their tenure Jan. 31.

Tressel announced in June that he would retire as YSU president Feb. 1. YSU
hired the former head football coach, who guided YSU to four national titles
during the 1990s and Ohio State University to the 2002 National Championship, as
its ninth president in 2014.

“We’re excited about maybe a little bit more time with family and friends, but you
know, we’ll always be a part of what’s going on and trying to be helpful, making
good things happen here,” he said.

Tressel also urged the campus community to reach out to incoming Interim
President Dr. Helen Lafferty, a YSU graduate who earned her doctorate at the
University of Pennsylvania, when she arrives. Lafferty is taking a sabbatical from
her position as a professor and administrator at Villanova University to serve as
YSU’s interim president while the university continues its search for a successor to

“One thing you’ll learn very quickly is she tells you all the time that if it weren’t for
YSU, she wouldn’t have had this amazing opportunity and career,” he said.

Tressel also said he and his wife plan to be back four months from now for spring
commencement, and urged the community to get great experiences on campus, focus
hard in the classroom and make progress.

“We always say ‘Macte Virtute’ – increase your excellence,” he said.

Pictured at top: YSU President Jim Tressel welcomes students, faculty and staff to campus at the start of spring semester Monday. (YouTube | Youngstown State University)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.