University of Minnesota Rochester Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle took a "Back to the Future" approach to his State of the Campus address on Thursday. Five years ago, when Lehmkuhle took over as the university's first leader, UMR had no programs of its own and served 400 students in a remodeled downtown shopping mall.
Five years later, the school is six months away from awarding diplomas to the first undergraduate class of students in its signature health sciences program. Self-effacing jokes about the school's shopping mall origins have become passe and dated.
"There's a reason for that," Lehmkuhle told the crowd of city leaders, university boosters and others. "There's a lot of activity in the University Square. There's a lot of activity in the adjacent Peace Plaza. It creates a very vibrant environment that really supports our students in very positive ways."
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