Faculty and staff gathered at the Fall Opening Meeting on August 20, 2015 to celebrate UMBC’s 2014-15 accomplishments and mark the start of a new academic year. The meeting featured remarks from incoming freshman, transfer, and graduate students, a speech by Provost Philip Rous, and the annual State of the University address by President Freeman Hrabowski.
Maria Packard, incoming freshman in mathematics and Sherman STEM Teacher Scholarl; Sean Radaskiewicz, incoming transfer student in visual arts; and Bridget Patton, incoming master’s student in public policy and a Shriver Peaceworker Fellow, shared their personal stories, academic interests, and what attracted them to UMBC.
“Even though I have only been here for a couple of weeks, I am confident that I have made the right decision,” Patton said. “I am eager to take advantage of all that UMBC has to offer and make my own contributions.”
In his remarks, Provost Rous welcomed faculty and staff to the new semester and gave an update on UMBC’s Strategic Planning Process. He also spoke about the need for improving faculty diversity, saying, “We cannot reach our full potential as a model public research university without the benefit of a full range of diverse perspectives and backgrounds driving our educational mission, research, scholarship, civic engagement, and educational mission.” He continued, “I know that you will join me in a renewed commitment to our most fundamental value of inclusion.”
President Hrabowski then delivered the annual State of the University address, sharing recent faculty, student, staff and broader university achievements. He emphasized the student experience in his remarks, highlighting that UMBC’s enrollment will exceed 14,000 students for the first time in Fall 2015. “Our incoming freshmen are a remarkable group of students,” he said, calling them “the most talented group we’ve ever had.”
“Over the years, putting people first has been at the heart of our success,” President Hrabowski concluded, in his remarks to faculty and staff. “Whether you’ve been here for decades or recently arrived, you make a difference through your contributions. As I say every year at this time, it is an honor each day to serve as president.”
Read the full 2015 State of the University address on the president’s website.