To the Students, Faculty and Staff of the University of Nebraska:
Today we begin a new academic year – the next chapter in the nearly 150-year history of the University of Nebraska.
Someone said to me recently that we’re lucky because we get to celebrate “New Year’s” twice: the start of the calendar year, and the start of the academic year. That’s two opportunities to reflect on our progress and think about where we want to go in the future.
“Every chance I get this year, I’m going to tell stories of your work, and ask Nebraskans to continue to partner with us as we grow our state.”
At the University of Nebraska, there’s never been a more exciting time to have that conversation.
As we approach the 150th anniversary of the founding of our flagship campus in Lincoln, the chancellors and I are convinced that our original mission to serve our state through teaching, research and service is as important as it has ever been. Much has changed over a century and a half, but our unique and vital role in growing Nebraska’s economy and quality of life has not.
Our achievements from this summer alone are a powerful demonstration of the value and impact of your work.
Our campuses have sent thousands more graduates into the workforce – the next generation of teachers, nurses and doctors, farmers and ranchers, scientists, artists and entrepreneurs.
UNL has embarked on a transformational period of growth for the College of Engineering, including major facilities upgrades that will attract more talent and foster greater public-private partnerships.
UNL and UNMC opened the University Health Center-College of Nursing Lincoln Division, a collaborative facility that will provide leading healthcare services while also training more nurses for the workforce.
UNK broke ground on a new STEM education building that’s going to be a game-changer for rural Nebraska. The facility is one part of a remaking of the campus’ footprint that includes a new student housing complex, a new home for early childhood education and other updates.
UNO’s metropolitan mission is on full display, whether through a collaboration with the Henry Doorly Zoo to study the relationship between play and learning, or a partnership that brought Omaha-area elementary teachers to campus to develop a biomechanics curriculum for their classrooms.
UNMC celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center – a story of hope for the 3,356 patients treated in the cancer hospital and 12,701 patients treated in outpatient clinics so far.
As it marks 10 years, the Center for Plant Science Innovation within UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources is addressing a global need for more nutritious and stress-resistant crops to feed a hungry population.
And I could go on.
This is a period of remarkable opportunity for the University of Nebraska and our state. Every chance I get, I’m going to tell stories of your work, and ask Nebraskans to continue to partner with us as we grow our state.
Best wishes in the new year, and I look forward to spending more time on each of your campuses soon.
President, University of Nebraska