NC State Students, Faculty and Staff:
Happy New Year, and welcome back to campus. I hope you were able to rest, have some fun, enjoy time with family and friends over the winter break, and are ready for a successful spring semester.
Looking back for a moment, by many accounts 2016 was an absolutely extraordinary year for NC State.
Our faculty earned some of the world’s most prestigious awards for their cutting-edge research. Our staff earned recognition for their dedication, expertise and heroism. Our alumni and friends supported the university at unsurpassed levels, enabling us to launch the Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign to raise $1.6 billion for scholarships, academic programs, research and facilities.
Of course, NC State students continued to excel, earning top honors, conducting remarkable research and scholarship, and improving the community through such efforts as Build-A-Block, the largest Habitat for Humanity project ever associated with a U.S. college. Nearly 9,000 new NC State graduates left campus last year ready to make a positive impact on their state, this nation and our world.
Building on this momentum, I’m excited to see what our students, faculty and staff will accomplish in 2017.
As we begin this new semester, I encourage you to be involved in discussions and activities related to the important issues of our time. A public university is a unique environment in which to learn not only in your field of study but also from others with different backgrounds and perspectives. A great advantage of a large, diverse university community is the opportunity to passionately and respectfully come together to discuss and debate critical issues, to listen, engage and learn.
Finally, I encourage you to reflect for a moment on how special it is to be part of NC State. Think about the meaning and power in Rudyard Kipling’s famous words that so aptly describe this community, “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” As we move forward in this new year, our strength lies in our community.
I am confident this year can be the best one ever for NC State. I am confident that our Pack can accomplish amazing outcomes, improving the future for everyone in our community and in the world around us. I am confident that, together, we will think and do the extraordinary in 2017.
I hope you have a wonderful semester.