August 2014
Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano Philip P. DiStefano

Dear Friends,

Members of the Dynamic Measurement Solutions team

Members of the Dynamic Measurement Solutions team show their socket technology for prosthetic joints. These innovative and entrepreneurial students are members of the inaugural Catalyze CU-Boulder cohort, receiving mentorship and grants to bring their ideas to life and represent CU-Boulder’s top-ranked entrepreneurial environment.

As we head into the new academic year on Monday, it's fitting that CU-Boulder was just named a Top 20 entrepreneurial university by Forbes.

If you Google "CU-Boulder entrepreneurship," you will find a list of programs too numerous to mention. But entrepreneurship isn't simply a list of programs. It is a spirit, an attitude and a way of doing business that's part of our DNA.

We've been applying that entrepreneurial spirit to support programs for our students, including centralized advising to make it easier for students to navigate the university, popular evening advising hours at Norlin Library, a faculty-student mentor program that eases the transition to college for new freshmen, web-based software to match new students' math skills to appropriate classes, and summer school grants that help students stay on track to graduation.

Be world-class. Be Boulder.

CU-Boulder Aerial

CU-Boulder ranks No. 8 among public universities worldwide and Boulder ranks No. 1 for best college town in America.

We talk all the time about CU-Boulder being a world-class university. Well, it's not hyperbole. The Academic Ranking of World Universities last week ranked CU-Boulder among the top universities in the world—No. 34 among all universities and No. 8 among publics. We've scored in this range for several years running, edging out such prestigious American institutions as the University of North Carolina, University of Texas at Austin, University of Southern California and Georgia Tech, to name but a few. Other sub-rankings in the overall ranking include No. 10 in natural science and math. Credit for these impressive numbers goes to an outstanding faculty and an unparalleled spirit of inquiry.

On a different note, Best College Reviews ranked Boulder the best college town in America. Of course, we don't need a ranking to tell us that—you could see it in the faces of parents and students touring campus and the Boulder community last week as new students moved into their residence halls. 

Mission to Mars

CU Mars explorer MAVEN

CU-Boulder's Mars explorer, MAVEN, enters Martian orbit Sept. 21 and then will have a close brush with a comet on Oct. 19.

One of our most exciting entrepreneurial and visionary projects of late is our Mars explorer MAVEN, right on schedule to enter Mars' orbit at 8 p.m. MDT Sept. 21, following a nine-month, 36-million mile journey. If that's not exciting enough, MAVEN will have a close brush with a newly discovered comet on Oct. 19.

Boulder Daily Camera, Aug. 4: "CU-Boulder Mars mission on track; comet encounter looms"

Launched in November, MAVEN will allow us to understand what happened to Mars' atmosphere and abundant water. Dozens of undergraduate and graduate students are involved in all phases of the MAVEN mission including the science, engineering and operations. By the mission's completion more than 100 students will have taken part. My speech this month to aerospace industry leaders gives a quick overview of CU's many aerospace and space science endeavors.

CU students working on MAVEN receive a unique educational experience as do those who work for BioServe Space Technologies in our Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department.

BioServe has had more than 70 life-science payloads on more than 45 space-flight missions over the past 25-plus years. This includes payloads on the space shuttle, MIR, Soyuz and the International Space Station.

Just this month we announced that BioServe and Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems in Louisville are collaborating on microgravity experiments on Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser spacecraft developed to take astronauts to low-Earth orbit.

Boulder County Business Report, July 31, "BioServe to collaborate on Dream Chaser project"

The power to motivate

Aquetza Encuentro

The Aquetza Youth Leadership and Education Program is a six-day, on-campus program for 32 high school students from across Colorado offering academic and leadership enrichment. Here, students look over photos they took of their home neighborhoods to share and discuss.

I've emphasized the success of students, and an important part of student success is getting at-risk kids interested in college to create their own compelling futures. We spent the summer bringing students of all ages and cultures to campus so they could experience a taste of college through both educational outreach and college "bridge" programs. These young students have a power that perhaps they do not realize: They motivate all of us on campus.

[videoicon /] 9NEWS, July 25: "CU program pushes at-risk kids toward college"

[videoicon /] ABC 7NEWS Denver, "NASA-funded summer camp designed to get Colorado kids interested in math, science, rockets"

Week of Welcome. Be involved. Be connected. Be engaged.

Student at 2014 convocation

About 5,800 new freshmen attended the Chancellor's Convocation last Friday at the Coors Events Center.

On Friday, we welcomed 5,800 new freshmen to campus to begin a lifelong journey of learning and discovery. Our annual student convocation gives students a grounding in the academic mission of the university and an immersion into the marvelous geographic and cultural diversity that characterizes our campus as a global crossroads. If you would like to read what I told our new students at convocation please click here.

The next day nearly 800 incoming students volunteered to spend their first Saturday as college students helping others in the community during Buff Day of Service, which is growing as an annual tradition. Volunteers took on numerous projects in and around Boulder, including landscaping at many community organizations, flood recovery and cleanup, yard cleanup for seniors, trail restoration, and interior and exterior painting at local elementary schools. The service day gives first-year students an opportunity to get out into their new community and experience its needs and culture beyond the borders of the campus. One of the goals of the service day is to help students connect with their new community.

Football season kicks off Friday vs. CSU

Ralphie Buffalo

Ralphie stampedes onto the field at the 2013 Rocky Mountain Showdown, won by the Buffs 41-27.

The football season officially kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday against Colorado State University at Sports Authority Field in Denver for the annual Rocky Mountain Showdown. You can buy your tickets here. We're happy to bring you an exciting Pac-12 schedule in Coach Mike MacIntyre's second season.

Go Buffs!

Philip P. DiStefano