I hope you had a great summer and return to campus renewed and excited about the year ahead.
It's hard to believe but it's that time of the year again — the beginning of a new school year. As I have in the past, I would like to welcome new and returning students to Utah State University, our regional campuses and distance education centers and at Utah State University College of Eastern Utah.
With more than 25,000 students from all 29 counties in Utah, all 50 states and 82 countries, USU has reached an all-time high record enrollment. However, the large student body doesn't detract from the fact that students at USU are offered a highly personalized, student-centered approach to learning from some of the best professors in the country. Engineering professor Laurie McNeill was one of 38 national winners of the 2010 Carnegie Professors of the Year, making her the tenth winner of the honor from USU in the last 16 years.
Many impressive rankings in the last year call attention to USU's prowess as one of the two flagship research institutions in the state of Utah. The university is ranked second in the nation for research funding received for aerospace engineering by the National Science Foundation and we are ranked tenth in the nation by U.S. News and World Report among colleges of education for external research funding.
USU launched its global presence generations ago, but our worldwide involvement is expanding so resolutely that we established an office of Global Engagement to coordinate both international research and international education opportunities. USU offers study abroad opportunities with more than 150 partner institutions around the world, and new Seed grants are now available for student experiences in Italy, China, Costa Rica, Japan, Slovenia, Thailand and Mexico.
Our successful fundraising effort, "Honoring Tradition, Securing Our Future, The Campaign for Utah State University," is bringing the university to a new level of distinction. We have reached more than $330 million of our $400 million goal, allowing for marked increases in endowments, chairs and professorships. Many new buildings have been recently dedicated and are bustling with activity thanks, in large part, to generous donors. These include the College of Agriculture Equine Education Center, The Emma Eccles Jones Early Childhood Education and Research Center and the Dolores Dore Eccles Center for Early Care Education, the Bingham Entrepreneurship and Energy Research Center and the USTAR BioInnovations 650 Building.
As you can see, it is an exciting time at the university and I encourage you to get involved in some of the many activities that make our university great. I invite you to take the time to navigate our website, join the university's social media pages and learn more about the opportunities we offer for your success.
Have a great year,
Stan L. Albrecht
Utah State University