Welcome back to a new school year! You can feel the energy on our campus as fall semester gets underway. I want to wish our new students, faculty and staff a special welcome to UTC. Freshman Convocation in the McKenzie Arena was a fantastic experience as we welcomed the largest freshman class in university history.
A special message to our newest Mocs: Now is the time to get involved with opportunities and activities on campus. Meet new people and make lifelong friends. Discover the academic and social organizations at UTC. Take part in programs that reach out in the Chattanooga community, giving help to schools, neighborhoods and local charities. Your life at UTC will be much richer and fulfilling if you take advantage of at least a few of the opportunities available.
Operation Move-In on August 16 was a tremendous success. Faculty, staff, continuing students, alumni, and community members helped incoming freshmen move in. Thank you to all the volunteers. Our housing and student affairs staff did a great job on coordinating Operation Move-In.
Our Mocs football team takes the field for its first home game on Thursday, August 30. They will be squaring off against Tennessee Tech at 7:00 p.m. in Finley Stadium. I hope the entire campus will turn out to cheer on our team and enjoy the camaraderie that is a special part of UTC home games.
We hope all of our freshmen attend the game and join in our Mocs Flock Finley tradition, a fun event in which they will gather in one end zone and run across the field prior to kick-off. Participants receive a T-shirt, and the first 200 will receive Power C socks. Line-up for Mocs Flock Finley is at 6:30 p.m. A tailgate party for first-year students will begin at 5:00 p.m.
Two of our women’s sports teams also have upcoming home games. On August 31, the UTC soccer team faces Georgia State at 7:00 p.m. in Finley Stadium. At 6:00 p.m., our volleyball team plays UNC Asheville in Maclellan Gym.
The student-athletes of our volleyball team also deserve recognition for recently earning an Academic Excellence Award from the American Volleyball Coaches Association. The Mocs posted a team GPA of 3.602 in fall 2017 and followed that up with 3.515 in spring 2018. Seven members were named to the Southern Conference Fall All-Academic list, tying for the most in the league.
I want to call attention to three members of our UTC family who have recently taken on new roles as part of our Executive Leadership Team. George Hynd, former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is our Interim Provost, while Joe Wilferth, Assistant Dean of Arts and Sciences, is now the college’s Interim Dean. Yancy Freeman is serving as Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Development. I know they will do an excellent job, and I look forward to working with them.