Admitted Student Day Welcome

April 9, 2016

Welcome to the University of Colorado Boulder. There is a reason you chose us, and a reason we chose you. We are glad to have you on campus to begin your new journey. The university experience is about so much more than the physical things students encounter in their everyday lives.

As one of CU’s great forefathers said…the university is not the campus, nor the buildings; not the faculty, not the students of any one time—not one of these or all of them. The university consists of all who come into her halls, are touched by her influence and carry on her spirit.

That is to say, wherever our students go, the university goes. Wherever our graduates are at work, the university is at work. With each incoming class we have great hope for the power of what you will achieve.

College is a foundational step for any young person. It wasn’t that long ago that my own daughters were making the decision to attend CU-Boulder. 

We want to ensure you are successful during this next stage of life. As newly independent adults, you will forge your own path and personalize your experience here at CU-Boulder, in and out of the classroom.

Personalized academics

As I think about our personalized academics, I think of our hands-on classroom and research experiences such as our undergraduate research programs. Students at CU-Boulder guide satellites, work on biomedical advances, make films and produce inspiring works of art and literature.

I also think of our faculty, staff, and administrators who care and want to be part of your enrichment, inside and outside the classroom.

CU-Boulder is known for a world-renowned faculty. We’ve have five Nobel Prize winners and eight MacArthur genius fellows, most still members of our faculty – and some who teach undergraduates. For students, this means you are at ground zero in new discoveries, and can interact with teachers and researchers who are transforming science and innovation daily.

We also offer a variety of ways for students to customize their academics including programs such as cross-campus entrepreneurship programs – where you can earn an entrepreneurship certificate whether you are a dance major or a chemistry major.

Residential Academic Programs, in which you focus on an area of interest or passion with like-minded students under the guidance of a professor in the intimacy of your residence hall.

We have a supportive staff to help you identify clubs and organizations so you get the complete college experience and lead a fulfilling campus life. The value of an innovative, comprehensive university like CU is that students can create their path and find their place.

Value of a CU-Boulder education

Tangibly, our undergraduate programs in engineering, business and hard sciences are in the top tier of all American universities. In the arts, our graduates include world-class filmmakers and performing artists. And, chances are, some of the news and sports news you get, comes from one of our graduates.

This year, U.S. News & World Report ranked CU-Boulder the top public university in the state and 37th in the nation. Smart Money magazine did a study fairly recently that concluded that CU-Boulder is No. 19 nationally in return on investment -- ahead of Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Brown and Dartmouth, among others.

But really the value of education at CU goes beyond rankings.  At CU-Boulder, value is also:

  • Learning to work collaboratively across disciplines.
  • Teamwork and real-world experience in undergraduate research programs.
  • Critical thinking, problem solving and civil discourse.
  • And community service and service-learning for those who wish to pursue it.

Here, value means bridging the gap between academia and the professional world. For example, the CU-Boulder Career Services Center offers one-on-one counseling to match students with internships, and assist with career placement opportunities beginning your first year.

Student success

People around here know that I talk a lot about student success. It's my top priority. CU-Boulder's graduation rate is the best in the state, and well-above average nationally. But we owe it our students and their families to make it even better. We've streamlined everything from advising to orientation -- with our students in mind -- to get them launched on a career they are passionate about in a timely fashion.

You will leave here prepared for a life of a fulfilling career and strong contributions to your communities. Just last week I met parents of two different students who graduated last year, and they told me they were thrilled with the education and the experience their students received at CU-Boulder. One earned an architectural design degree and is working on the new Vikings football stadium in Minnesota. The other earned a marketing degree and is working in Seattle at Amazon’s global headquarters.There’s nothing that pleases me more than to see our students succeed.

Campus diversity

At CU-Boulder, we also offer a global education and prepare you for the global economy and marketplace. We attract top students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries, giving you the opportunity to meet, study and engage in discussions with people from different cultures and perspectives worldwide.The exchange of ideas and knowledge with people of different backgrounds and perspectives benefits us all, and is a hallmark of higher education at CU-Boulder. 

Be Boulder

We want you to thrive here at CU. As a student, we want you to be driven to be the best you can be. Don't be a student who is just passing through, but be a part of the community and contribute to campus.

Be considerate and live up to our honor code for academic integrity and embody the Colorado Creed—a volunteer code of responsibility for ethical living.

Be curious. Partake in undergraduate research opportunities like

  • Working on our Mars explorer
  • Studying the origins of the universe with the Hubble Space telescope
  • Developing renewable energy solutions or biotechnology advances

Be a part of creative works like ensembles, opera, film or art. Develop the seed for an award winning animated TV program like CU classmates Trey Parker and Matt Stone did with South Park.

Be entrepreneurial and turn your ideas into a business or action.

Be collaborative.  Live and study in small residence hall communities alongside upperclassmen, who share your interests—whether it's engineering/ natural sciences/ environmental studies/ international experiences/ business/ leadership/ communications/ arts or honors.

Be ambitious.  Your freshman class will have more than 1,600 students with a 4.0 gpa or higher, and more than 1,700 students who are in the top 25 percent of their high school class.

Be fearless. CU-Boulder faculty, staff and your fellow students will challenge you, teach you, motivate you and inspire you.

Be fulfilled. When you graduate, we want you to leave CU-Boulder prepared for life and career.

The university is not the campus, nor the buildings; not the faculty, not the students of any one time—not one of these or all of them. The university is a lamp in the hands of youth, and the power that shines within you cannot be measured.

I hope you enjoy your day exploring CU-Boulder and I look forward to seeing you this fall.

Go Buffs!