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Celebrating this semester and looking ahead to the next

Chancellor's Monthly Message: "I am proud to be a Volunteer and lead an institution full of people who care so deeply about their work and about one another."

As we head into the final stretch of this semester—my first as your chancellor—I have been inspired by the incredible experiences and the successes we have shared. Together, over the past four months, we have:

  • Launched the celebration of the university’s 225th anniversary
  • Achieved record student enrollment, unprecedented undergraduate participation in research, and a rise in our national rankings
  • Received a major gift that will allow us to grow the College of Nursing and another that will help even more students through our Judith Anderson Herbert Writing Center
  • Welcomed impressive new leaders, including deans, cabinet members, a new executive director of the McClung Museum, and our first vice provost for student success
  • Celebrated two faculty members who received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers as well as the Humanities Center, which received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to host a black arts history symposium
  • Announced our ninth Rhodes Scholar and our first Mitchell Scholar

This is an incredible list that gives us much to celebrate. I have loved getting to know so many of you and hearing your stories, ideas, and aspirations for our campus. I am proud to be a Volunteer and lead an institution full of people who care so deeply about their work and one another.

Last month, during the investiture ceremony, I had the opportunity to share my vision for continuing to move our university forward. Attaining the future we want will require all of us to summon the courage to take risks, care about each other, and lead.

This spring, we will begin the hard work of crafting a new strategic plan that will help us achieve these goals. It is critical that we have the input of everyone on campus to clarify where we want to go and how we will get there. I hope all of you will commit to being part of the process.

Good luck with the rest of this semester. I hope the break will offer you the opportunity to rest and rejuvenate for the great work we have ahead.

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Donde Plowman