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Walden Magazine // Jan 27, 2016

Letter from the President

 John Kaplan

 Dear Alumni,

During our 45th anniversary in 2015, while reflecting on Walden’s past and future, I thought about our founders—Bernie and Rita Turner. Their powerful ideals and ideas provided the framework for who we are today.

Bernie and Rita were disruptors. They founded Walden in 1970, when “disrupt” had a very different meaning. At that time, the need for change was paramount. The Turners strongly believed that postsecondary education could serve a higher and more compelling purpose than just helping students attain a degree. Closing these two gaps—enabling working professionals to pursue their graduate degrees and tying higher education to social change—set Walden apart.

Today, our mission of fostering social change while ensuring access to higher education has given us an abundance of success stories. We continue to hear of students and alumni who have inspired others through their passion for the greater good.

Advancing this mission is our sacred trust as we look toward our 50th anniversary, a milestone that we will hit in the year 2020. As we look ahead, continue to ask yourself, what means the most to you? Where do you believe that you can make a difference?

I ask these questions because what Walden looks like in 2020 will be shaped in part by you, our alumni who are working every day to raise social consciousness. Whether it’s been 5 years or 25 since you graduated, we encourage you to renew your dedication to positive social change.

I also encourage you to share your ideas for how we can make this vision clearer and how we can help you leverage your education, your research, and your passion for social change. My President’s Perspective blog is an open forum for all members of the Walden community, so please join the conversation at

Thanks for being a part of Walden’s rich history and for creating an enduring legacy for its future.


Jonathan A. Kaplan