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As we approach the end of the academic year and prepare to graduate another class of students, I wish to express my continuing appreciation for all your outstanding work.
This weekend, I will have the pleasure of attending the Golden Eagles Reunion where we will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Auburn’s class of 1962. In thinking about what I want to share with these distinguished alumni, I considered some of the major differences between that generation and our current students. While our graduates of fifty years ago didn’t have the technology and learning tools our students have today, a consistent value I see in both groups is a sincere appreciation for their Auburn education.
Most of us had the opportunity to become faculty members thanks to the educational doors that were opened to us by others. I’m sure you’ll agree that what we do opens doors for our students, as well. The evidence of this is easily seen in the accomplishments of the students who have stepped through our doors and are making a significant impact on our campus, in our communities, and around the world.
While every academic year is eventful, this year proved that - despite budget restrictions - our faculty remains committed to providing the strong academic experience Auburn is known for. The doors we opened for our students enabled some to achieve highly competitive, prestigious accolades. We provided many of our students with opportunities to engage in undergraduate research experiences, building their capacity to become future researchers, scholars, and faculty members themselves. Through the Common Book Program, our students learned about cultures of people who do not have the same opportunities as they do and the issues people in other places face on a daily basis because of the lack of resources and opportunities. We also engaged both our students and faculty in long-term projects, such as planning the Central Classroom Facility, that will impact everyone on our campus for generations to come.
These accomplishments are a reminder that we, as a campus community, share a common purpose and that Auburn’s success depends on the strength of our faculty, staff, and students.
In just over a week we will celebrate the achievements of our students at commencement. This will be the first time Auburn will host four ceremonies across two days. I know each of you share our institutional pride as we watch our students leave Auburn and move on to new opportunities for even greater success. Fifty years from now I’m sure the class of 2012 will have the opportunity to reflect upon the doors they opened for future generations of Auburn students and the role our faculty played.
Summer is the time for faculty to renew themselves and prepare for a new year in which a new group of students will be looking to achieve their goals and reach their full potential. With this in mind, I wish each of you a productive and fulfilling summer.
Last Updated: April, 2012