We celebrated Founders week September 12-16 with events and activities in honor of Founders Day, September 15th.
Our university was founded on September 15th, 1886, as Chattanooga University. Last Thursday I gave the annual State of the University speech – my third – on our beautiful new Chamberlain Field. We followed it with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the reopening of Chamberlain Field, which was the home of the Mocs football team until we moved to Finley Stadium. We also had birthday cake in honor of our 130th Anniversary.
You can watch videos of the event and view a copy of the State of the University Address here.
You may have noticed faculty and staff eating cotton candy and playing mini-golf on campus last week. The Mocs Games are an annual tradition that gives us a chance to celebrate the start of the academic year and say thank you for all that our staff and faculty do for our students. Here is a link to a fun video.
On September 13th we held a luncheon to thank our donors who provide scholarships for our students. We plan to make this celebration a UTC tradition. It was wonderful to see many of our scholarship recipients meeting the generous donors whose provided their scholarship. A scholarship is an incredible way to help a student. Thank you to everyone who attended – students, donors, faculty and staff. You can hear some of the stories in this video.
This past Friday we had an open house for the Decosimo Student Success Center in the College of Business. The second floor of Fletcher Hall has been transformed, and I encourage each of you to find the time to see it. There is state-of-the-art space for academic advising and career development. It also has collaborative workspaces, team rooms and a new student lounge. The center is named for Chattanooga businessman Joseph F. Decosimo, who has long been an advocate for higher education and a highly-engaged friend of UTC. You can see a video of the event here.
There is more good news to share. UTC’s Fall 2016 enrollment grew by 1.3 percent, to 11,533 students. Graduate enrollment jumped 4.5 percent. I want to thank the undergraduate and graduate admissions teams for all of their hard work.
U.S. News and World Report released its university rankings, and UTC was again ranked among the top public Southern regional universities. This year we moved up three spots to #21. We also jumped 10 spots, to #36, in the rankings of Best Colleges for Veterans among Southern regional universities. This is a credit to our staff and faculty, who provide excellent educational opportunities and support for our veterans.
Goal four of UTC’s strategic plan is “to embrace diversity and inclusion as a path to excellence and societal change.” Late last spring we held an open-forum discussion on campus that focused on issues of diversity and inclusion. I believe we must continue this discussion, as we work to fulfill this critical goal.
The UTC Multicultural Center is hosting a series of diversity discussions this year. The first took place earlier this week and focused on diversity and the presidential election. On October 4th, I am hosting a Town Hall Meeting focused on Diversity at UTC. We will convene at 7:00pm in the Multicultural Center. I encourage you to attend.
In closing, congratulations to our Mocs football team for their victory over Furman on Saturday. They are off to a 3-0 start. We are back home in Chattanooga taking on Samford this Saturday (9/24) at 2 p.m. in Finley Stadium. Also our women’s volleyball continued their winning ways with a victory over Ole Miss on Saturday night!