"E Pluribus UNM [out of many, UNM] offers us a powerful statement of our institutional commitment to persist as one university, made up of people from many different backgrounds and beliefs, and it challenges us to remain one university, while respecting and valuing the diversity of our parts."
- 2014 State of the University address
Many thanks to all of you who attended and have watched the State of the University address given on UNM's 125th anniversary this past Friday. It is truly amazing how much has been accomplished or set into motion within the past year. What is evident that our areas of strength and identity reinforce one another to demonstrate our mission and aspirations in everything we do as an interconnected institution. Twice each year I meet with our Congressional delegation to update them and discuss the status of the University of New Mexico, which is at a truly transformational point. I will be in Washington, D.C. early this week for my spring briefings. The E Pluribus UNM theme that was expressed in the State of the University address, speaks to the sometimes tricky process of conveying the enormous breadth of UNM's distributed activities and needs, while still clearly demonstrating that we are one institution that serves all of New Mexico. When we have the chance to meet with our congressional representatives and showcase the best that UNM has to offer New Mexico and the nation, this is a balance that we strive to maintain.
Students Recognized for Exceptional Leadership Potential
I am delighted to share the news that all four of the University of New Mexico students nominated for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship were selected as finalists this year. This is reflective of the high quality of both UNM's student body and the education they receive as Lobos. This is a highly competitive, merit-based scholarship awarded to students with exceptional leadership potential who want to attend graduate school in preparation for a career in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sector, or education. Congratulations to Carlo Aragon, a member of the Honors College, majoring in Political Science and Languages, with a minor in Arabic; Israel Chavez, a member of the Honors College, majoring in English-philosophy and political science; Ryan Roco, majoring in political science major with Asian studies minor; and Claire Stasiewicz, a member of the Honors College, majoring in Art History and Interdisciplinary Honors, with a minor in Arts Management. These students stand to make an enormous difference in service to the public, and we could not be more pleased for them, for the university, and for the state of New Mexico.
Arts at UNM Drive Creativity with Intellectual Curiosity
Art in all of its iterations, in tandem with science, is one of two pillars on which we continue to build our University vision. The dynamic interaction that is possible at a high-level research campus in such an arts-rich state is reflected in many of our internationally known programs, such as lithography at Tamarind Institute and flamenco in the Department of Theatre and Dance. The numerous arts programs that touch New Mexico communities are also significant. Many people I have met both on and off campus have shared stories about a child's experience the music prep school, or their own participating in the university chorus. The arts are inherently experiential, allowing for the application of creative expression across disciplines. Programs such as the ARTS Lab, Art and Ecology, and Theatre Education and Outreach continue to bridge creativity to community. In fact, our Arts in Medicine program, which was recently featured on CNN, is one of two such programs nationally that connect the power of art to the science of how people heal and recover for illness and injury. We have so many opportunities to incorporate art into our everyday lives here at UNM – I encourage all of us to look take advantage of them to inspire our imaginations.
UNM-Taos Recognized for Growth
UNM's branch campuses continue to grow and are becoming increasing connected with the communities they serve. This year UNM-Taos has been ranked 17th out of 350 two-year public colleges for fastest growing colleges in the country. UNM-Taos' enrollment increase of 14.7 percent demonstrates advancement in our mission of education in the northern New Mexico communities, which has been made possible by providing advanced degrees and quality faculty. Thank you to Executive Director Kate O'Neill for providing the strong leadership and attention that has made our Taos branch stand out nationally.
Have a great week and Go Lobos!