"Rose-Hulman can help students develop a broadened perspective of what all they can do with their engineer training earlier in life," says Elizabeth Hagerman (CHE, 2000), Ph.D., Vice President for Rose-Hulman Ventures. "We can give students a better look into their possible future choices and help them better see the opportunities that exist."
   Young people interested in business or military leadership, law, medicine, entrepreneurship, or academia rarely see engineering as the best path to achieve these objectives, and yet, our alumni routinely follow these career paths and find their engineering degree was invaluable training to pave their way.
   In addition to providing insight into professional choices, The "Great" Debate discussions centered on how to maintain a focus on science, engineering, and mathematics fundamentals while also providing success skills such as leadership and communication.
   "The 'Great' Debate started broadly looking at our core values. Then, as we got further into it, we asked participants what qualities our graduates need and how we can do a better job of meeting these needs," says Sam Peffers, who as Director of Planning had a unique vantage point in the process since he attended all The "Great" Debate sessions and served as the recorder and processor of all the collected information.
   "Some common themes emerged at each site discussion: business acumen, entrepreneurship, a global mindset," Peffers continues. "Many individuals referenced the complex nature of the current professional environment. This concept really clicked with our participants. If there is one priority, it would be how to help our graduates deal with complexity."
   Trustee William Schindel (MA,1969), an international expert on complex systems, agrees, "Our graduates face a world filled with ever increasing complexity and multi-disciplinary systems. This increase in complexity is changing everything from manufacturing and business processes to professional organizations, communities, institutions, and even daily life."
   He continues, "There is a specific framework of competencies to organize and deal with complexity. I feel the teaching of this framework is missing in higher education. This presents an opportunity to competitively differentiate our future graduates and our school. Rose-Hulman is uniquely prepared to fill this need and to make our brand of education even more distinctive."
   Jeffrey Burgan (CHE, 1977), attorney with Leydig, Voit & Mayer, Ltd., says a strategy that resonated with him was to provide more international experience and preparation. "Our graduates will deal with people from around the world whether they go to work for a Fortune 100, or a small company, or start their own business," says Burgan, who just finished his term as alumni representative to the board of trustees.