Welcome to the start of the spring semester. As a campus community we had a tremendous fall semester, and we are looking forward to an exciting spring punctuated by commencement May 10, when over 6,000 of our students will join our Forever Buffs family!
Last fall we announced the Be Boulder Pact that eliminates $8.4 million in course-related fees beginning fall 2018. While many universities have increased these fees, we are taking the unusual step of eliminating them. We recognize the cost of education presents a challenge for many students and their families, and our goal is to make an education at CU Boulder more accessible and affordable.
We also formalized the CU Impact Scholarship, an innovative new scholarship that awards persistence in the face of socio-economic circumstances. The Be Boulder Pact also commits to support our student leaders as they pursue online, openly-licensed textbooks and learning materials, potentially saving students hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
In the fall our researchers announced a record half-billion dollars-plus in annual research revenues, as we continue to impact humanity in unprecedented ways and our passionate donors continue to invest in us with big and small gifts to advance our university and support students.
And we had many other great achievements around the campus:
- We broke ground on a new aerospace building.
- A visiting professor and a professor were named to the U.S. Supreme Court and the Colorado Supreme Court, respectively.
- The College of Music embarked on its first major fundraising campaign to celebrate its 100th birthday.
- We celebrated 50 years of Ralphie.
- The club triathlon team won the national championship.
- The ski team finished second in the nation.
- Three more buildings received LEED Gold certifications for sustainability, earning us a total of 25 buildings rated gold or better.
It was a great semester by any measure.
This spring promises to be equally exciting. This month the new student Startup Hub supporting our innovation ecosystem will open at the Village Center in Williams Village on Jan. 23.
This is exemplary of our strategic imperative to be the nation’s leading innovation university.
On Feb. 13, please join me at the Spring Diversity and Inclusion Summit. Also, not to be missed this semester is Mae Jemison, the keynote speaker of the Leo Hill Distinguished Leadership Speaker Series on Feb. 27. The first woman of color to go into space, she is an icon of women's rights and civil rights. On March 15, I hope you will join the conversation at my Spring Town Hall, at which we will discuss the Academic Futures initiative and how we will shape the future of learning and discovery on this campus.
In April we will be celebrating the 70th year of the Conference on World Affairs, a one-of-a-kind, week-long festival of ideas featuring thought leaders from around the world.
All of these exciting events have been made possible by interdisciplinary collaboration of students, faculty and staff, and it characterizes who we are.
Philip P. DiStefano,