Congratulations to our Fall 2021 graduates! Last week’s three commencement ceremonies capped the end of a great semester. Seeing the smiling faces of our graduates as they walked across the stage was the highlight of my semester. I want to thank all faculty, staff and volunteers who worked so hard to make the ceremonies memorable. A special shout out to the three commencement speakers – Tyler Forrest, Stacy Lightfoot and Shewanee Howard-Baptiste – for their unique and outstanding charge to the graduates.
The College of Engineering and Computer Science recently celebrated a $125,000 gift from Truist in support of the College’s internship program. The gift will connect CECS students with smaller businesses in the region that lack funding for internships, with a particular focus on women and minority students. A big thanks to Truist for this generous gift.
A huge shout out to everyone involved in dealing with the recent Lupton Hall HVAC disruption, from the role Academic Affairs played in moving classrooms and final exams, to the work of our Facilities team in getting the building back in working order, to the flexibility of our students who made it all work. We have demonstrated time and time again how quickly we can adapt and adjust in the face of adversity. On top of no heat to Lupton, the leaking roof has been a source of continual irritation and inconvenience. We are on track to begin repairs early in the spring semester to fix this problem once and for all. Thank you to our dedicated, talented Facilities team who are doing the best job they can to solve this difficult problem.
Kudos to Intercollegiate Athletics for having 10 of its 16 programs beat the national average for Graduation Success Rate (GSR) based on information released by the NCAA earlier this month. Our Mocs posted an 89% overall GSR for the most recent cohort, the second-highest number on record since the NCAA began reporting in 1998. Seven teams scored a perfect 100% GSR: men’s cross country, women’s track and field/cross country, men’s golf, women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and women’s volleyball. Congratulations to our outstanding student-athletes and our academic support team led by Emily Blackman.
The Mocs men’s basketball team is off to a tremendous start with a 9-2 record and a No. 8 ranking in this week’s collegeinsider.com mid-major Top 25 poll. Coach Lamont Paris’ squad has several upcoming nationally televised games, beginning with an ESPNU appearance against Southern Conference-rival ETSU at 7 p.m. ET on December 30 at McKenzie Arena. I hope we can pack the Roundhouse for this national TV audience. Go Mocs!
The Mocs wrestling team will ring in the new year by hosting the 2022 Southern Scuffle, one of the nation’s biggest in-season wrestling events, on January 1-January 2 at McKenzie Arena. The tournament features 27 Division I teams and more than 425 wrestlers.
This is the final C-Note of 2021. My family and I wish you a safe and healthy holiday season and a Happy New Year! We hope everyone can find some time to relax and enjoy the break. See you in 2022!!