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, distance education centers and USU Eastern.
Utah State University provides a high-quality education to students no matter their interest. I encourage you 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 of success. Because of students like you, the past year was filled with noteworthy achievements.
USU undergraduate Kathryn Sweet was named a 2015 Goldwater Scholar and, for the second consecutive year, student David Griffin received honorable mention in a prestigious national competition that recognizes outstanding achievements in science and mathematics. USU now boasts 24 Goldwater Scholars and 12 honorable mention recipients since 1998. It was also a banner year for USU and the search for National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows as graduates Ren Gibbons (university studies ’13, civil and environmental engineering ’15), Kevin Cope ’13 (plants, soils and climate) and Celina Twitchell ’13 (biological engineering) were honored.
Our students succeed because of dedicated faculty and researchers who work hard to carry out USU’s mission. Our faculty is involved in innovative research projects that will often include opportunities for undergraduate students to be involved. A total of more than $220 million of new sponsored awards funding was granted in fiscal year 2014 — the highest level of external support ever recorded. And the excellence continues across our campus. For example, the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services was ranked 33rd in the nation overall against all graduate college of education by U.S. News and World Report in the 2016 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” And our distance education program was ranked as the 13th best university in the nation in “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs” and “Best Online Graduate Programs” by U.S. News and World Report in January 2015.
We have designated 2015 as USU’s Year of Water, a year in which we have been highlighting our university water expertise and leadership across disciplines. From this university’s earliest years our core mission directed us to solve Utah’s water problems and address the state’s water needs. USU’s water specialists today, in fact, are among the nation’s and the world’s leading experts on many water-related issues, particularly in the areas of management, ecosystems, climate, water education and society’s understanding of this precious resource.
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. Construction is well under way on Huntsman Hall, the state-of-the-art addition that wraps around the south and west sides of the George S. Eccles Business Building. Students will also be excited that the USU Student Recreation & Wellness Center building, located next to the existing Health, Physical Education and Recreation building, opens in November 2015. As you attend Aggie football games you will be able to observe first-hand the major renovation of our newly named Maverik Stadium.
Across the state new classroom buildings will be open at our campuses in Price, Tooele and Brigham City. These facilities will contain broadcast-enabled classrooms, lecture halls, multi-purpose rooms and offices for faculty, advisors and staff.
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