A New Year’s Greeting from Jim Clements
Dear Mountaineer Nation:
As students return to our campuses for another semester of learning and discovery, it’s a good time to say thank you to all of you for our many successes this past year—and to commit ourselves to making 2013 an even better one.
Here are just a few ways our land-grant, flagship, research university is making an impact here and around the globe:
Our students are accomplishing amazing things. In 2012, five of our students earned the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship—that’s the largest one-year number in WVU history. Another student was named the University’s 22nd Truman Scholar for outstanding public service, while yet another student earned a Newman Fellowship given to those who work on finding solutions to challenges that face our communities. Perhaps even more exciting is that the students on our campuses today are so exceptional that more nationally and internationally-recognized awards are on the horizon!
Our Faculty and Staff
Our world-class educators and scientists, supported by top-notch staff, are conducting life-changing and life-saving research and service, bolstered by a $19.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to address the health issues that most commonly affect West Virginians. Colleges, departments, faculty, and staff have earned national and international recognition from organizations such as the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities, the National Science Foundation, US News & World Report, the National Research Council, the University Economic Development Association, and many others.
Our Alumni and Supporters
In 2012, Mountaineers worldwide showed unprecedented dedication as we launched our “State of Minds” campaign, the largest capital campaign in WVU history, with a goal of raising $750 million. For two years in a row, we shattered records for private giving, including our largest gift commitment ever from Ben and Jo Statler—$34 million to the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources—and our largest endowment ever for graduate education in the STEM fields from the Hazel Ruby McQuain Trust.
Some $600 million in capital projects will transform our academic, research, and health care enterprises over the coming years, many of which got under way this past year—a student health and wellness facility, engineering research facility, law school addition, art museum, greenhouse, and new homes for the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences and the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design. We set another enrollment record this past fall, welcoming nearly 33,000 students to Morgantown and our divisional campuses, including more international and minority students than ever before. We are also making great progress on our multi-year process of hiring 200 new faculty—an amazing initiative in academia today. We began an exciting new era as a member of the Big 12 Conference, aligning not just our athletic teams, but our academic and research missions with some premiere universities. In the coming year, we will be charting a new course in our information technology, energizing our efforts in engagement to serve our state even better, investing in areas of research excellence, focusing on new diversity and inclusion initiatives, developing our new School of Public Health, and launching a new “University College” to provide an academic home for students not yet enrolled in a major.
One of the high points of the year occurred this summer during our yearlong celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, the legislation that created land-grant universities. WVU was selected to participate in the Smithsonian Institution’s 2012 Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., and our Steel Drum Band represented us. As you can imagine, “Country Roads,” Caribbean-style, was a big hit with the thousands of global visitors on the National Mall and reinforced the many ways WVU enriches the lives of our citizens.
We will build on this momentum throughout 2013. As we continue working to change lives, save lives, and strengthen our global impact, please stay connected with your Mountaineer family by visiting: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!
James P. Clements, Ph.D.
West Virginia University