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A 2015 Welcome from UF President Kent Fuchs

Greetings! I’m very pleased to start 2015 with you at the University of Florida. I feel especially grateful for the warm welcome my wife, Linda, and I have received from the university and the greater Gainesville community.

This is my second week as president, and my time so far has been devoted to meeting with students, faculty, staff and friends of the university.

On my first day, I was pleased to have the opportunity to welcome a new class of students at the Innovation Academy convocation. Since then, I’ve attended the inauguration festivities in Tallahassee, met with the governor and state lawmakers and joined the Gainesville community in the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. I visited the University Galleries at UF for the opening reception of the 50th anniversary celebration – and I joined fans in cheering for the Gators at two athletic events.

When I interviewed for the presidency this fall, I was impressed not only by the great warmth and excellence of this university community, but also by the strong feeling of shared aspiration. My experience over the past 10 days has only strengthened that impression. Building on the significant progress you have already made, my goal is to join you in elevating UF to the stature of one of the very best public universities in the country.

Toward that end, I will devote my first year to continuing the progress of UF Preeminence. I will reach out to donors and alumni as we plan for the capital campaign, and will continue to develop fruitful relationships in Tallahassee.

Finally, we will launch an extensive goal-setting effort that will reach out across UF’s very diverse campus. This effort will draw on the input and involvement of students, faculty, staff and academic leaders to develop shared goals based on our shared ambitions. I expect these goals will engage all aspects of our wonderfully comprehensive university, creating an agenda for progress in the five and 10 years ahead.

This morning, I had the pleasure of discussing my background, experience and hopes for UF and the Gainesville community at the Eye Opener Discovery Breakfast at the Hilton UF Conference Center. If you’d like to learn more, you may read my full speech.

As I wrap up, let me say again how grateful I am for your welcome, how excited I feel about the start of this year, and how much I look forward to joining all of you in achieving your ambitions for this great university. I wish you a fabulous semester, and Go Gators!


Kent Fuchs

Published: January 21st, 2015

Category: Memoranda