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	*Office of the President
*

	January 13, 2014



/From:/Tom Sullivan

/To:/University of Vermont Community

/Re:/// Happy New Year to the University of Vermont Community!

    Welcome back to campus! It is a privilege to be a member of this
    accomplished, creative, and ambitious academic community.We should
    all be proud of the progress we have made together, and I look
    forward to a semester that is uplifting, memorable, and filled with
    many notable accomplishments by members of our University community.

    Please mark your calendars for the Martin Luther King Celebration,
    Education, and Learning Week January 20 -- 24.This celebration
    includes a keynote address on Thursday, January 23rd from Julian
    Bond, former chairman of the National Association for the
    Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), activist and leader in the
    Civil Rights Movement, and founder of the Student Nonviolent
    Coordinating Committee. Another highlight of the week's events is
    "UVM Gives a Dollar".At several locations across campus you will be
    able to donate a dollar.The funds raised will be invested in the
    work of three non-profits: Women Helping Battered Women, the Ronald
    McDonald House and the Chittenden County Emergency Food Shelf.Our
    hope is that every member of the UVM community will participate.

    Recently, UVM received national recognition for our leadership in
    service and for the vibrant culture of our hometown.This fall /The
    Atlantic/ praised our sense of community and volunteerism, and
    /Travel and Leisure/ ranked Burlington the #1 college town in the
    United States, highlighting our abundant arts and food culture.In
    December, the Peace Corps 2013 rankings showed that Vermont had the
    most volunteers per 100,000 residents; earlier rankings of
    volunteer-producing colleges and universities indicated that UVM
    continues to hold 5th place among some very prestigious schools in
    our cohort of 5,000-15,000 undergraduates.

    As you know, one of the foremost goals in our Strategic Action Plan
    for the University is to increase our four-year graduation rate and
    student retention from the first to the second year.Later this week
    at the invitation of the White House, I will be in Washington,
    joining other invited college and university presidents from around
    the country, in a dialogue with President Barack Obama and other
    senior administration leaders to address issues surrounding access
    to success for college students.More specifically, the goal of this
    summit hosted by the President is to find effective approaches to
    help more students graduate on time.I am honored to be able to
    participate in this White House meeting on behalf of UVM.

    In the coming weeks, I will be announcing two new awards to
    recognize members of our community for their outstanding service and
    dedication.The first is the President's Distinguished University
    Citizenship and Service Award, presented annually, to recognize a
    member of the University of Vermont faculty who has established a
    consistent outstanding record of service to the University
    community. The second is the President's /Our Common Ground/ Staff
    Award, presented annually, to recognize six members of the
    University of Vermont staff who exemplify the aspirations of the
    University of Vermont's /Our Common Ground/, the statement of
    aspirations and shared values for the UVM Community. Information
    about criteria and the nomination process will be available shortly.

    An important aspect of our investment in a bright future for UVM
    includes updating and building facilities and infrastructures that
    enhance the quality and impact of the University.Recently, the
    architectural partnership of Ellenzweig Architecture - Planning and
    Freeman French Freeman was chosen to develop plans for the new STEM
    Lab and Classroom Building, which when finished will become the
    largest facility of its kind on our campus.We also have received
    encouraging responses from several firms interested in partnering
    with the University on a Phase I housing project on the Athletic
    campus as part of the Student and Faculty/Staff Housing Master Plan.

    The semester will come to a close with our 213th Commencement
    Ceremonies on the Green.We are honored to welcome U.S. Permanent
    Representative to the United Nations and Pulitzer Prize winning
    author Ambassador Samantha Power to campus as our Commencement Speaker.

    Thank you all for your participation in making this community so
    special.I wish you a productive semester full of inspiration,
    insight, and learning!