It is hard to believe that we are already finishing our third week of classes, and the campus is buzzing with activity.
As you know, masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces on campus except when alone in private offices, residence hall apartments and rooms. The ARC is developing protocols for people to safely use the facilities. I encourage everyone to get vaccinated and take precautions to protect against the spread of COVID. I want to thank every member of our campus community for doing their part to protect the health of our campus community. It takes a total team effort to keep the UTC campus safe, and we all must continue to do what we need to do.
A huge GO MOCS! for Head Coach Rusty Wright and the 18th-ranked UTC football team as they begin the season tonight against No. 20 Austin Peay in a battle of Top 25 squads. The game marks the beginning of the Mocs’ 25th season of calling Finley Stadium home. As part of Hometown Heroes Night festivities, the Mocs will honor first responders, EMS and medical personnel.
Mocs Flock Finley is an opportunity for our freshmen and sophomores to enjoy a special tradition at this evening’s football game. In addition to socially distanced tailgating, our students will help to lead our team onto the field. Masks are strongly encouraged for students flocking to the field. I look forward to seeing you at Finley Stadium for food, fun and UTC freebies—and to cheer on our Mocs!
The UTC soccer team has a strong September slate of home matches and looks to build upon last season’s success. Head Coach Gavin McKinney’s squad finished third in Southern Conference play in the spring, the best finish in program history. The team’s upcoming UTC Sports Complex home schedule includes 6 p.m. matches September 3 vs. Austin Peay and September 12 vs. Tennessee. GO MOCS!
Founder’s Week, celebrating our university’s 135th birthday, takes place the week of September 13. On September 15, 1886, Chattanooga University opened its doors for the first time with an enrollment of 118 students. Stay tuned in the coming days for information about the week’s activities, culminating with the annual State of the University address on September 17.
It is an honor to recognize Chancellor’s Blue Ribbon Award recipients, and you can read about the award winners from the first half of 2021: Brett Fuchs, Danielle Kriener, Nathan Barger, Chris Stokes, Sherese Williams and Maurice Dorsey. These individuals who have gone above and beyond in supporting the UTC campus deserve special recognition. The work they do defines UTC.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and I want to remind the campus community about resources available for students experiencing life changes and severe challenges. UTC CARES is a 24/7 crisis response service for students experiencing a mental health emergency or having suicidal thoughts. This hotline number—423-425-CARE (2273)—provides students an opportunity to speak with a licensed professional who can offer emotional support.
The national search for a new vice chancellor for development and alumni affairs and executive director of the UC Foundation continues this fall. Information about the process, including search committee members and the timeline, can be found here. I want to thank Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Yancy Freeman and UC Foundation life trustee Fred Decosimo for their efforts in co-chairing the search committee.
Please join me in congratulating Jennifer Ellis, associate professor and director of STEM education at UTC, on her recent appointment as a temporary program director with the National Science Foundation’s Rotator Program. In her role, she will focus on grant funding for three NSF programs. We are very proud that she will be representing our university at the NSF. What a tremendous opportunity!
Finally, please remember that UTC is closed for the Labor Day holiday this Monday, September 6. Have a great three-day weekend and stay healthy!