The View from T-Hall

The Next Big Steps

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I was recently asked to describe UNH without using the words interdisciplinarity, internationalization, strategic, academic, budget, priority or infrastructure. While I suspect this would be easy for the majority of you who are alums, it's a tough assignment for a university president. But here goes.

Those of you who took advantage of all—or even some—of what UNH has to offer can look back on the rich experience you had here. Memories of favorite professors, Stoke Hall, an edge-of-your-seat hockey game, the beautiful campus itself, the classmates who have become lifelong friends—who, by the way, were not your friends first on Facebook. All these things and more contribute to who you are today. Look at who you have become and what you do, not only in your own life, but for your community, your state, your nation. UNH played an enormous role.

That's what alumni from all over the country have told me these past few months. From large receptions to small dinners, I hear the same thing. Alumni love UNH, and they are all hungry for more connections with us; they want to help but don't know how. The good news is that they are stalwart. They want UNH to do big things. "Dream big!" one alumna told me. "Ask me to do something!" said another.

The time has come for us, all of us, to think bigger, be bolder, more proud and more confident. The time has come to rock the boat and build to our strengths. We are going to do this with your help. We are in the midst of doing our own homework—like those conversations I've been having—to ascertain what our next big steps ought to be. It has been too long since we have engaged our alumni and friends to help us achieve big goals.

UNH is large enough to be relevant and small enough to move quickly. Those are two great qualities to have. We want these next big steps to have lasting impact—on our students' success, our faculty's innovations, our landmark research, and our lifelong partnerships with all of you, New Hampshire and its people. I know what you're thinking: UNH already does this. True, but we have always done so with the creed "more with less." We need to change that. We can do so much more with more. We want to be in a place where we create an engine for tomorrow that quite literally fuels itself, forever.

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