Monday, March 26, 2018
While it might not yet feel like spring, this time of year, as our students return from spring break and prepare to finish the semester, provides an opportunity for renewal and reflection.
Throughout the year, we watched the living room of our campus—the Student Center— begin to take shape on our campus. And earlier this month, we installed on the entrance way to the facility an excerpt from Frank X Walkers’ “Seedtime in the Commonwealth.”
This poem is both a reflection of our past and a vision for our shared future.
So, as we think about all we hope to realize in the coming months and years, it reminds us to take a step back and reflect with pride upon all we have accomplished as a community.
We released the video, https://youtu.be/DzzaztgBef8, which chronicles the various points pride from the past year that we, as a UK family, shared:
- The completion of a $450 million transformation of our student housing, places where living and learning is taking place in creative communities across the campus.
- Our 2017 designation as a Diversity Champion by Insight Into Diversity Magazine.
- A thousand of our students—cheered on by their classmates, faculty and staff—dancing in common cause at DanceBlue and raising more than $1.8 million to defeat pediatric cancer.
- Our continued top ranking among public universities for National Merit Scholars.
- Record graduation rates
- A record number of patients treated with the most advanced care at a hospital ranked once again as the best in Kentucky.
- And new efforts to ensure that finances are not an impediment to an education at UK.
Of course, we are not satisfied. We never are.
There are more minds to teach, more communities to touch, and more patients to heal.
That spirit—that determination and commitment to serve—is also captured in Professor Walker’s poem.
Let's make ourselves "right for the fight today," use the next
one hundred and fifty to mend all that we have broken,
to lift, to carry, to propel those who seek knowledge forwards,
towards viable futures with sustainable qualities of life,
enriched by education regardless of their outer shell.
Let men and women come here as seeds, let us invest
in them until they form sufficient roots and leaves to obtain
their own food. Let them grow from here not just trees,
but a fruit-bearing, deeply-rooted forest.
We are incredibly proud of the momentum we have built as a community. Thank you for the role you have played. We will continue to move forward, together.
Eric N. Monday