Significant milestones

December 10, 2014
by Jere W. Morehead, President

The Fall 2014 semester will come to a close next Friday, December 19, with two commencement ceremonies in Stegeman Coliseum.  Ceremonies such as commencement are a very important and exciting part of academic life on the campus. We mark significant milestones in the lives of students and faculty by gathering in a common space for reflection and celebration.

The Fall semester has provided much to be thankful for at the University of Georgia.  We enrolled the most academically talented class in the University’s history.  We made progress on several academic facilities that will significantly enhance the learning environment.  We earned the prestigious Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award in recognition of our ongoing efforts to foster an inclusive and diverse campus.  Dozens of students earned prominent scholarships and were victorious in national and international competitions.  Our faculty continued to advance research in areas of global significance, as they taught the largest number of students in our history.  We also honored our land-grant mission by extending the resources of this great University to improve lives and communities across Georgia and the world.  And, so far this year, our alumni and friends have responded with significant private support to make our institution even greater.  All in all, we have much to celebrate.

In the midst of our achievements, however, I am mindful of our challenges as we continue to seek a more open and welcoming campus environment.  I am pleased that students at the University of Georgia are encouraging respectful and intellectual conversations on challenging subjects facing our nation and our community.  Through open, honest, and civil dialogue, many important matters can effectively be addressed to the mutual benefit of our diverse institution.  This type of dialogue is one way we prepare UGA students for lives of productive work and engaged citizenship after graduation.

I look forward to celebrating the graduation of tomorrow’s leaders into society during our Fall Commencement ceremonies next week.  I hope this holiday season provides all of us with the opportunity for rest, reflection, and joy as we enter the New Year full of excitement and hope for our future.