Welcome back to campus! Summer was too quiet without you all. And what a way to start off the semester – with an official Mike VII on campus and a solar eclipse on our first day of classes.
Normally, it would be difficult to beat such an exciting start, but this is going to be an exceptional year. Whether you are new to the LSU family or have been with us for years, you will always remember being on campus during this time.
A university plays a vital role in society. For students, it is a learning laboratory – a place to sharpen your intellect and hone the skills that will not only contribute to your professional development but also to your depth as a person. For faculty, it is a place to test ideas, whether scientific or societal or anything in between, and to find ways to apply those principles in a manner that makes life better for those in need of better social and economic progress throughout our region and around the globe.
LSU is taking this opportunity to recommit to the mission behind its flagship status – service to the state, research that makes a difference, and education that creates leaders. You are an important part of our culture of excellence. LSU faculty are changing the world with scientific discoveries, creative expression, advances in health and medicine. Our students have the opportunity not only to learn and study with the best, but to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society today. And as one of the nation's few land-, sea-, and space-grant universities, we will never encounter a shortage of research challenges or opportunities.
Our achievements inspire others. In fact, the last year brought more than a 30% increase of +$1 million donations to the university, as well as a 6% increase in overall giving. Our research funding this past year ranked among the most productive in LSU history, generating nearly $300 million. In short, people want to invest in LSU – in our students, our faculty, our research and our future – because they know what an impact it will make.
Embrace your role in this tight-knit community of leaders and problem-solvers who have a wide range of diverse interests. Students, excel in your classes and actively engage in research and hands-on learning. Take advantage of every single day as a way to get one step closer to graduation and a degree that will last a lifetime. Faculty, consider every day an opportunity to make a breakthrough, whether in your lab, your studio, or the lives of your students. And to all students, faculty and staff, consider every day another chance to enhance our state, region, nation, and global community.
I can’t wait to see what you do this year – individually and as the LSU collective. Let’s geaux out and make a difference!