Admitted Student Day Welcome

April 8, 2017

Good morning and welcome to the University of Colorado Boulder. This is an exciting day and one that I thoroughly enjoy each year. Choosing the right university is very important. It is a decision I’m sure you’ve been contemplating with your family for a number of years, and I’m glad CU Boulder is a top choice for you.

Beginning college is about embarking on an incredible journey –  a journey of academic curiosity and self-discovery. It is about finding your path and securing a fulfilling and successful future. At CU Boulder we are committed to helping you along this journey. We are here to inspire you, motivate you, and be the biggest champions in your success.

Your future success and the success of the university go hand-in-hand. Our students help us to be leaders in addressing the humanitarian, social and technological challenges of the 21st century. They are leaders in their field and strive to make a positive impact in their community and beyond.

At CU Boulder, our primary objectives are to shape tomorrow’s leaders, to be the top university in innovation, and to positively impact humanity.

In order to shape tomorrow’s leaders, we must recruit, retain and graduate students who are committed to demonstrating honor, integrity, accountability and respect. Students who are committed to understanding, sharing and engaging diverse perspectives. Students who are committed to developing critical thinking and creative problem solving.  

To be the top university for innovation, we bring out the innovation that is within all of us, – faculty, staff and most of all, students. For example:

  • The first laser was developed by a CU alum in 1960.
  • The sticky note in 1968.
  • The slogan, “What Happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” by a newly minted CU marketing graduate in 2003.
  • Perhaps you’ve heard of Qualify, the student-only dating app now at 39 universities across the country. It was developed by a CU student just last year.
  • Digital depth of field, such as in your cell camera that you will undoubtedly use today, developed right here at CU.

The CU environment releases the innovation in all of us.

To positively impact humanity, we graduate students who apply their CU experience to make meaningful contributions to society. This may be in your community or in your country. I think of the new superintendent at the Grand Canyon National Park who is a CU alum; or a student graduating next month who founded a company to create affordable hybrid electric rickshaws to replace gas-powered rickshaws and reduce pollution in her native India.

All these students sat where you sit today. By choosing CU, you are choosing to be a part of this community and this vision.

My charge for you today is to be curious, to ask a lot of questions, and to explore everything our beautiful campus has to offer. Throughout the day, I want you to think about what it means to Be Boulder. This is a phrase I am sure you are all familiar with, but what does it mean to Be Boulder? For each of us, it can mean something a little different. To me, being Boulder is when our students participate in undergraduate research opportunities working on our Mars explorer or the Hubble space telescope studying the origins of the universe.

Being Boulder is when our students go on to make advances in renewable energy solutions or in biotechnology. It is when they take an idea that was cultivated during their time here as an undergraduate and turn it into a successful and growing business after graduation.

Being Boulder is when our students create operas, or compose Grammy-winning musical scores, or design sculptures and other works of art. Being Boulder is when our students volunteer for the Peace Corps or go on to inspire a classroom of students.

You see, to Be Boulder, isn’t defined by one person, one action, one characteristic. It is through all of our actions, creativity, curiosity and drive to push boundaries and challenge common convention that we are truly able to Be Boulder…together.

Now, I leave you with these three questions to think about today…What will you do?...How will you Be Boulder?...and how can we Be Boulder together?

Please enjoy your day, learn as much as you can, and experience our incredible community. Thank you for coming and I look forward to seeing you this fall as you embark on this exciting next chapter in your life. Go Buffs!