Our celebration of Black History Month is underway with more than a dozen special events scheduled for February. The month includes panel discussions, guest speakers, workshops and screenings of several documentaries, including “Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.: A Personal Portrait,” an interview with the civil rights icon made in 1965 but never shown publicly until 2013. Even now, only about 2,000 people have ever seen it. Our Office of Multicultural Affairs, Black Student Alliance and other organizations have worked tirelessly on the month’s schedule; for a complete list of events, go to https://blog.utc.edu/news/2018/01/black-history-month-utc-2.
Welcome to Dr. Trae Cotton, UTC’s new Vice Chancellor for Student Development. He joined our Executive Leadership Team on February 1st after serving in the same role for seven years at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina. He has spent his career in higher education, and we are looking forward to working with him. I also want to thank Dee Dee Anderson, our Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Development, who took over the Vice Chancellor role for more than a year and did an excellent job.
The Open House for our College of Engineering and Computer Science is Saturday, February 24, and it is an excellent chance for students from all levels of education — university, high school, middle and elementary school — to see what the college has to offer and learn about interesting careers they may never have considered. A visit to the Open House will be fascinating for anyone, student or not.
On Thursday, February 22, Dr. Richard Brown will be among the 58 honorees at the opening reception for the “Living African American Legends” exhibit at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. On display are portraits and biographies of local African Americans who have made large contributions to our community. We are proud to have one of our leadership team recognized for their contributions and serving as a role model. Congratulations to Dr. Brown!
A schedule of classes for Summer Semester 2018 will be online Friday, February 16. Priority registration starts Monday, February 19, and ends Friday, February 23. Open registration for all students begins Tuesday, February 27. Summer Semester is a great time to get ahead, catch up or just take a class that piques your interest.
Finally, it is sometimes helpful to consider the big picture of where we are going as a university. We are focused on our students and providing the best possible educational experience. We are guided by our strategic plan that has four major goals. Goal four states we “Embrace diversity and inclusion as a path to excellence and societal change.” I encourage each of us to look for ways we can put this into practice each and every day.