I’ve always thought Thanksgiving is the most beautiful holiday in the American calendar. A day when people of all backgrounds, creeds and conditions gather with friends and family in the spirit of gratitude. A day when we don’t necessarily ponder the past or future but simply celebrate and share all that we have today.
We have so much to be thankful for at George Mason University. I am thankful to be able to work with brilliant faculty and staff. I am thankful to get up every morning and come to work at an organization that makes a real difference in the lives of many. I am thankful for our students, who inspire me with their ingenuity and their commitment to personal growth. I am thankful for our alumni, friends and partners who believe in what we do and help us make true on our mission to create a more just, free and prosperous world.
As we put together the 2013-14 President’s Report, I was amazed by how much we have accomplished in one year:
- This fall we welcomed our largest, most diverse and academically accomplished incoming undergraduate class, an indication that more students from around the state, country and world are attracted by our combination of excellence, affordability and career outcomes. Welcome!
- We raised more philanthropic contributions than ever before, and our endowment, while still modest, reached an all-time high.
- We’re wisely and steadily investing in our infrastructure, with many projects that will benefit our students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as our community. We completed the funding for our new health sciences building (Academic VII), and made great progress on the Fenwick Library expansion, the alumni center, the Discovery Hall Life Science Lab, Campus Drive construction, the Potomac Science Center, a new residence hall, and the peace building center in Point of View, among others. Our new classroom prototypes are helping faculty introduce new pedagogical approaches with great success.
- The scholarship of our faculty was once again recognized among the top 200 in the world, and some their discoveries are making their way into new products, cures and policies of great consequence.
- We were blessed with new additions to our leadership team, including four new deans, a new athletic director and a new provost, ready to take the baton from their predecessors and continue to write a remarkable story of this great university of a new and necessary kind.
- We reached a new record in numbers of graduates. A new cohort of teachers and nurses, lawyers and managers, engineers and artists, academics and entrepreneurs, ready to make a difference.
The list is so much longer! I encourage you to surf the 2013-14 President’s Report yourself. Through words, photos and videos, you will be as thankful as I am for the impact that our students, faculty and staff make in our community and around the world.
Like all universities, we have our challenges. But they pale in comparison to the impact that we have and the opportunities that await us. We accomplish a great deal when we work – and thrive – together.
Thank you for all you do for George Mason University!