Five years ago, in my inaugural address as president, I emphasized that “We are one university,” bound together by a commitment to four fundamental values: academic excellence, academic freedom, diversity, and community.
In the past year, we have honored each of those values and driven the University forward toward implementation of our strategic plans.
In 2009, we welcomed the Class of 2013, a class drawn from a record number of applications. Early-decision applications were up by 25 percent. We saw progress not only in the number of applications, but also in measures of quality and diversity.
The vitality of our faculty’s research and teaching underlies the University’s overall success. As you will see in these pages, faculty in 2009–10 produced groundbreaking research and transforming ideas, earned honors from some of the most prestigious academic organizations, and guided students in their own stellar academic achievements. Seven Rochester students last year won Fulbright Student Program Scholarships, and two students were named Goldwater Scholars.
In this impressive year for our University, the nation’s economy has continued to suffer its longest and most painful post–World War II recession. All divisions of the University have economized during this challenging period. These sober circumstances make the support of our alumni and friends all the more precious. Record giving to the Annual Fund and the vibrant growth of the George Eastman Circle attest not just to your generosity, but also to the power of our shared vision for this University.
I believe in the paramount significance of the research university as the decisive social institution of our time. We are the teachers of the next generation of leaders. In our laboratories, we cure diseases and will discover new sources of energy; in our classrooms and professors’ offices, we develop new paradigms for the social sciences, the humanities, and the fields of our professional schools; in our hospitals, we tend to the welfare of vast regions; and in our performance halls, our libraries, and our galleries, we transmit the riches of human culture.
Our future fills me with optimism. Meliora!