The View from T-Hall

An Essential Mission

Greetings from the University of New Hampshire. We have just celebrated our historic 137th Commencement, where we were honored by the presence of former Presidents of the United States George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton as the keynote speakers. Their uplifting message of public service rings particularly true for this institution, where we understand well the power of partnerships and the value of action.

Since my return to the university last June to serve as interim president, I have been impressed anew by the commitment and care that each of us brings to this fine educational community. Students, faculty and staff members, alumni, parents and friends share a common belief that through our mission of teaching, research and service we can make a difference in the world.

And we do. A few examples of how the UNH mission results in success for our students, our communities and our world:

* UNH, along with three partner universities, received a multimillion-dollar National Science Foundation grant to share its faculty expertise in earth sciences with New Hampshire middle and high school teachers in a program intended to serve as a national model. This is one way that UNH commits itself to insuring a qualified work force in the Granite State and in the nation.

* Researchers and students at UNH Justiceworks created the Cyber Threat Calculator, which offers a new method to identify and quantify the threats posed to the nation's cyber infrastructure. This project was unveiled at the U.S. Department of Defense and demonstrates the currency of UNH research and education.

* UNH's innovative Organic Dairy Research and Education program is an ideal partner with industry, creating internships in nutrition, life sciences and engineering while sustaining New England's agricultural heritage. The farm serves as an applied research facility and as a regional organic education headquarters to help support current and future organic dairy farmers.

* When NASA's Stereo twin spacecraft roared into space last October from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, UNH students were on hand with others from the university to celebrate contributions they had made to the NASA mission that will study the sun.

Clearly, UNH students benefit from the university's extraordinary faculty members, who share their knowledge and passion for learning with their students while helping to inform and shape the practices and policies that directly benefit society.

Just a few short months ago, it seems, I was on hand to welcome the incoming Class of 2010 on Move-in Day. It was a pleasure to greet these new students, who hold high expectations for an excellent, relevant and rewarding experience at the state's flagship university. Now, as we bid farewell to this year's graduating Class of 2007 and welcome them as alumni, it is clear to me that these recipients of a UNH education, these young men and women who became so familiar to us in our classrooms, laboratories, field sites and on the playing fields, graduate with the qualifications and confidence to lead us into the future.

The strength of this university has always resided in its people and their resolve to create and sustain better communities for all of the world's citizens. Every day, more than 18,000 people convene in Durham and Manchester to work together and reach higher for a better world. What they can accomplish depends in large part on continued stewardship, and public and private support from alumni, benefactors, corporate partners, legislators and friends who know the value of UNH.

It has been an honor to play a part in the mission of this great university. I have maintained in the past and continue to believe wholeheartedly that a UNH education yields tremendous dividends--for our students, our state and our world. Yes, it is expensive, yes, it is a challenge, and yes, it is essential. ~

A YEAR IN PHOTOS: From left, J. Bonnie Newman poses with Wild E. Cat; puts together a time capsule for the renovated T-Hall tower; meets a new arrival at the UNH Organic Dairy Farm; and joins former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush at graduation.
blog comments powered by Disqus