To the Faculty, Students and Staff,
Welcome to the 2015-2016 academic year at NC State. I hope you are ready for what is sure to be another exciting and memorable year, filled with academic challenges and opportunities.
I especially want to offer a warm welcome to the 4,200+ new freshman and transfer students joining us, along with 2,800 new graduate students, which includes more than 1,100 new international graduate students. You’ve made a great decision to come to NC State, and I encourage you to make the most of everything an education here has to offer.
The newly renovated Talley Student Union is now up and running and has hosted all of our new students during freshman orientation sessions during the summer. It’s already become a very popular location with our students, and nearly everything is now moved and operational.
Mark your calendar for Sept. 9. From 2-5 p.m. we’ll have the public dedication of the Talley Student Union.
Another big change to our campus is a new unit called University College (UC). It brings together the First Year College, unaffiliated academic departments in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA), interdisciplinary undergraduate degree programs that are not currently housed in a college and provides an administrative home for interdisciplinary minors and certificates not currently housed in a college.
The UC provides a home for exploratory and transitional students, promotes the academic success of all students, including high-achieving students, who benefit from academic advising, tutoring, honors, scholars, undergraduate research and other UC high impact programs.
The new academic year is also a time of tradition at NC State, with annual events that bring the Wolfpack together. And many of these events take place right at the start of the semester, during our annual Wolfpack Welcome Week.
One example is our yearly Convocation, taking place on Monday, August 17. We’ll gather at PNC Arena for a spectacular pep rally event, complete with musical performances, Class of 2019 t-shirt giveaways, and a talk by the author of this year’s common reading selection. It’s always a high energy event as we celebrate new beginnings and Wolfpack Pride.
Another hallmark event is Packapalooza – an all-day block party and street festival on Hillsborough Street. It’s truly a sight to see, with hundreds of vendors, university organizations, and sponsors providing everything needed for a blowout celebration of all things NC State. Last year 55,000 members of the Wolfpack Family were in attendance, enjoying musical performances, games and prizes, and other activities throughout the day.
A new academic year always brings new and innovative experiences to NC State and introduces a new class to Wolfpack traditions. As you can see, the 2015-2016 academic year is no exception, and there’s a lot to look forward to this year. I hope you are all ready to get started and looking forward to the fall semester as much as I am.