As summer winds to a close, we are excited to begin a new school year at Utah State University not only at our main campus in Logan, but at our regional campuses and distance education centers and at USU Eastern.
Utah State University provides a high-quality education to students no matter their interest. I encourage you all to learn more about the many academic opportunities we offer and about our vibrant campus life. You are part of an exceptionally talented student body with a long history characterized by student success. Because of students like you, the past year was filled with noteworthy achievements.
USU undergraduate Rachel Nydegger was named a 2014 Goldwater Scholar and students David Griffin and Austin Spence received honorable mentions in a prestigious national competition that recognizes outstanding achievements in science and mathematics. USU now boasts 23 Goldwater Scholars and 11 honorable mention recipients since 1998. It was also a banner year for USU and the search for National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows. A university-best 14 Aggies were honored from departments all over campus.
Our students succeed because of dedicated faculty and staff who work hard to carry out USU’s mission. Joyce Kinkead, a professor of English known for her connection to students and the promotion of undergraduate research, was named the 2013 Carnegie Professor of the Year for the state of Utah. Dr. Kinkead was among just 30 others given the award and is the 13th honoree from USU. And the excellence continues for our Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services that was ranked 28th in the nation overall against all graduate college of education by U.S. News and World Report in the 2015 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”
It was a great year for our alumni as well. USU alum Lars Peter Hansen was named as one of three Americans as a recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economics for groundbreaking research on the workings of financial markets, asset prices and behavioral economics. And plant geneticist and USU alum Steve Cannon was one of 102 recipients to receive a Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers from U.S. President Barack Obama in December 2013.
Before you get too far into your studies, be sure to take some time to explore our campus. Whether you are a new or returning student, you will notice some physical changes. Ground was broken last fall for the new, state-of-the-art Huntsman Hall, a $42 million, 117,000-square-foot addition that will wrap around the south and west sides of the George S. Eccles Business Building. Jon M. Huntsman, Sr. is the lead donor for the new building, scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2015. And Jon M. Huntsman School of Business alum Jeffrey Clark and his wife, Bonnie Clark, have provided a $6 million leadership gift to help establish the Jeffrey D. Clark Center for Entrepreneurship in that college.
Students will also be excited that we finally broke ground and are beginning construction on the USU Student Recreation & Wellness Center (SRWC) building. Our students voted in favor of a new recreation and wellness center in the spring of 2012, but the building has been a work in progress for nearly a decade. Students will have full access to the building in fall 2015, which is the anticipated completion date.
As you can see, our campus is humming with the activity and promise that a new school year brings. On behalf of the entire USU community, I hope you have a memorable year.>
Stan L. Albrecht
Utah State University