Welcome back! I hope everyone enjoyed their time off during the holiday break and is re-energized as we start the spring semester.
On January 1st we kicked off a yearlong drive to make UTC a smoke-free campus. Leading up to the implementation of SmokeFREE UTC on Jan. 1, 2019, we have scheduled many seminars, workshops and other helpful events to educate our faculty, staff and students on the specifics of the program. Anyone who wants to quit smoking entirely will have opportunities to work with on-campus counselors and smoking-cessation experts to achieve that goal. A webpage with information on all aspects of SmokeFREE UTC can be found at https://www.utc.edu/smoke-free-utc/index.php.
Congratulations to Dr. Valerie Rutledge, Dean of the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies, and Emily Quinn, Assistant Director for the Disability Resource Center, both of whom were named to the All-Southern Conference Faculty and Staff Team. They were selected for their exceptional service to UTC and their ongoing dedication to our campus and our community. They are outstanding examples of what makes UTC special.
Our student-athletes now have eight straight semesters with an average 3.0 GPA or higher, and 43 students had a perfect 4.0 – the highest number in UTC history. In addition, 150 student-athletes made the Dean’s List, the second highest in school history. The women’s golf team and men’s basketball team also recorded the highest increase in GPA from Spring Semester 2017 to Fall Semester 2017; the golf team rose from 3.281 to 3.828, while the basketball team rose from 2.314 to 2.834. We are very proud of our student-athletes who work hard both in their athletic endeavors as well as in the classroom.
During the week of January 15, two events are taking place on campus in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. On January 16, “O, King” will offer a variety of music, dance and spoken-word performances centered on the central messages from Dr. King. On Jan. 19, renowned journalist and political analyst Roland Martin is speaking as part of our annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration. For more information on “O, King,” go to http://bit.ly/2CBAOw8. Details on Roland Martin’s visit can be found at http://bit.ly/2qLrgJb.
In collaboration with UTC, the city of Chattanooga and the local chapter of the NAACP, a street on our campus has been renamed by the city in honor of local civil rights leader James R. Mapp. The former University Street between McCallie Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard is now James R. Mapp Street. In 2016, we also rededicated the Mapp Building in his honor.