The View from T-Hall

A Warm Welcome

IT IS WITH GREAT PLEASURE that I send you greetings from UNH! I am learning—as you no doubt already know—that this is a very busy and extraordinary place. Since arriving in July, I have spent much of my time becoming familiar with our beautiful Durham campus, acquainting myself with our numerous facilities and getting to know the people who make UNH so special. I've gotten to see some of our world-class research labs and to visit our exceptional art gallery. I've wandered through the library, become familiar with the MUB and Holloway Commons, taken tours of some of our farms and fields, seen the new pier under construction in New Castle, attended several exciting games and met many of our exceptional students. I've also visited UNH Manchester and a number of our Cooperative Extension offices in the North Country. One thing is clear to me: UNH is a great place, and wonderful things are happening here.

I have already had the privilege of introducing myself to many of our new faculty and incoming students and they, like me, are excited about our new beginning at the University of New Hampshire. We already have much to celebrate. Who could resist the excitement surrounding the announcement that UNH professor emeritus Charles Simic was named the nation's Poet Laureate by the Library of Congress? For years, Professor Simic's work has left me in awe and it is a privilege for all of us to be associated with him.

Over the summer, work began on the EcoLine(TM) pipeline, a renewable energy project that will bring enriched and purified methane gas from a landfill 12 miles up the road in Rochester to our co-generation plant on the Durham campus. Very soon, more than 80 percent of our energy needs will come from this environmentally friendly source. UNH is the first university in the nation to undertake a project of this magnitude. The pipeline is the smart thing to do to conserve our precious financial and environmental resources. This project is one of many commitments that place UNH in the forefront of sustainability efforts across the country.

I also had the opportunity to welcome faculty, students and staff to "We hold these truths, a University Dialogue on Democracy," featuring a panel of distinguished faculty members for an open discussion of the past, present and future of democracy in the United States and abroad. Provost and executive vice president Bruce Mallory has been the guiding force behind this important convocation that initiates a yearlong exploration on the topics of our times. UNH faculty members contribute their expertise as series authors, panelists and expert lecturers in activities that extend across the university and out into the community.

UNH is the place to be during primary and election season. As most of you know, the university hosted a nationally televised presidential primary debate in September and numerous visits from the nation's political leaders. UNH is clearly a part of this national conversation. As the election heats up, we will continue to earn much-deserved recognition as UNH faculty members offer their expert analysis to the world.

All of this translates into tremendous opportunities for students, who participate with enthusiasm while learning about the power of ideas. No doubt, the experiences of today's students echo those of your own when you were a student here. Now, in your role as UNH alumni, your continued involvement is key to the university's growing strength.

My family and I are all happy to be here, and, as near as I can tell, our three dogs and turtle are as well. We all look forward to many terrific years at UNH and to meeting you and your respective families. I look forward to working with you and helping to make what is already a great university even greater.

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