Dear Faculty, Staff and Students—
I write this one day after we completed all eight of our commencement ceremonies, five in Durham, one in Concord (Franklin Pierce School of Law) and two in Manchester (UNH Manchester and Granite State College). We awarded degrees ranging from associates to bachelors to masters to JDs to PhDs. As the graduates’ names were announced (as our new format allows) I heard parents cheering for their graduates, and (especially in Manchester) graduates cheering for their parents and even their grandparents. I was touched by the outpouring of joy and pride at all our ceremonies, and proud once again to serve an institution that provides transformational educational opportunities for people across New Hampshire and well beyond. I hope you’ll take a moment to review these two highlight videos, one from the undergraduate ceremonies and the other from the graduate ceremony.
Words cannot express my gratitude for everyone who contributed to the success of these ceremonies, which represented the culmination of many months of planning. This includes the staff members in Advancement and Facilities who did much of the heavy lifting for planning and executing the events, the many faculty attendees whose presence meant so much to our students and their families, and the staff volunteers from across the university who created such a positive experience for our guests. Thank you all!
In a report released two weeks ago by Heartland Forward, a nonprofit think tank, entitled Research to Renewal: Advancing University Tech Transfer, UNH was ranked 12th nationally in the value of our licenses and options, and 3rd nationally when considering the size of institutions. Congratulations to all our researchers and UNH Innovation for their contributions to our success.
In other news, we are nearing the end of our search for a new athletic director. We will have finalist interviews in early June and expect to make an announcement by the end of the month.
Finally, the university is seeking to renew its status as a Carnegie “community engaged institution.” Over the next year, a team led by Vice Provost Ken La Valley will be working with stakeholders across campus to identify and document the many ways we collaborate with our communities to enhance the public good. Achieving this classification is a considerable undertaking that will involve many members of the community. If you are interested in being part of the team working on this important effort, please reach out to Vice Provost La Valley directly.
I hope that your summer is restful and rejuvenating.
Warmest wishes to all,
James W. Dean Jr.