August 2006 Campus abuzz with new
beginnings, great expectations By Chancellor James Moeser
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for The Chapel
I never fail to be amazed by the way it all comes together.
The construction wraps, the books are stocked, the residence
halls outfitted, welcome and directional signs posted and
sidewalks and parking lots filled. The passage from the second
week of August to the third is the epitome of a team effort,
made by students, faculty, staff and volunteers.
The Daily Tar Heel got it right with a front page headline:
"Campus comes to life." Our community has just welcomed
more than 26,000 new or returning residents.
Over the summer, assorted roadway projects and construction
efforts were completed as we navigated the peak of the campus'
ambitious $1.8 billion capital construction project. We are
now more than halfway to the completion of this initiative.
The newly opened project with perhaps the most immediate
impact is Ram Village, a South Campus "neighborhood"
of five new residence halls with 253 apartment-style units
that are home to more than 900 Carolina students.
Other projects are slated for completion this year. Perhaps
chief among those is the FedEx Global Education Center, which
will open in early spring. A hub of international studies,
research, public service and cultural exchange, this building
is a stunning piece of modern architecture by the award-winning
Andrea Lears of Boston, beautifully sited to address Pittsboro
Street as one travels south.
I have encouraged our students to become involved in the
life of the university and of the greater community. I invite
you to partake as well.
Here is a sampling of recent highlights and upcoming events:
" University staff partnered with returning students
and Chapel Hill police officers last weekend to form "Good
Neighbor" teams, walking neighborhoods near the campus,
helping off-campus students get off on the right foot with
their neighbors. Now in its fifth year, the Good Neighbor
Initiative illustrates the essence of what being a good neighbor
means: having respect for others.
" On Sunday night, we welcomed students back with the
10th annual FallFest, an alcohol-free street fair celebration
on South Road. About 19,000 people - from the campus and greater
community - enjoyed the festivities.
" Student government president James Allred of Chapel
Hill and I led one of the many small group discussions of
"The Namesake" by Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri.
The Summer Reading Program is a magnificent way to stoke the
academic spirit for incoming students. This novel about immigrant
life, assimilation and the challenges young people encounter
as they leave home for the first time provided much for all
of us to explore.
" In fiscal year 2006, Carolina's total research funding
reached a new high of $593 million. We have more doubled the
amount of such funding received as recently as 1997 - and
this during a year in which appropriations to the National
Institutes of Health were cut. We have a proven ability to
contribute to the local and regional economies. But attracting
more private funding is critical to continued growth; something
we will realize, in part with the successful launch of Carolina
" Nothing embodies the spirit and culture of Carolina
as well as the Carolina Covenant - now in its third year.
The Covenant provides academically qualified financially-challenged
students with a debt-free four-year education provided they
maintain their grades and do at least 12 hours of work-study
each week. Of the 782 Covenant Scholars enrolled for fall
semester, 14 are from Orange County - including nine from
Chapel Hill and Carrboro - and five are from Chatham County.
" Building on the Covenant's success, next month the
university will host a national conference of higher education,
immigration, financial aid and policy leaders - "The
Politics of Inclusion: Higher Education at a Crossroads."
This initiative will tackle head on the looming national crisis
of access to higher education. The conference has received
generous sponsorship from the Lumina Foundation, the Andrew
W. Mellon Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Jack Kent
Cooke Foundation and the North Carolina State Education Assistance
Authority/College Foundation, Inc.
" The resurgence of the arts at Carolina continues in
a big way, and I truly hope you will partake of it. The arts
so enrich all of our lives and the life of this community.
Come see the world-class performances of the 2006-07 Carolina
Performing Arts Series or take in a PlayMakers play.
" There will be plenty to cheer about. Volleyball, field
hockey, and the men's and women's soccer and cross country
teams are among those getting their seasons underway. On Saturday,
the football team kicks off play hosting Rutgers. We welcome
your support of these talented student-athletes who represent
this community well in the classroom and on and off the field.
If you're interested in hearing more about what we have planned
this year, I invite you to join with the campus community
as I deliver my annual State of the University address. It
is set for 3 p.m. on Sept. 6 in the Great Hall of the Frank
Porter Graham Student Union.
Before closing, I'd like to mention that Chapel Hill Mayor
Kevin Foy, retiring town manager Cal Horton and manager-elect
Roger Stancil visited campus this past week. Roger is a Carolina
grad who had a distinguished career in public management in
Fayetteville before accepting his new post. We wish Cal the
best and appreciate all he's done for Carolina. We look forward
to working with Roger and others in local government, helping
to realize together the next chapter of the university's and
James Moeser is chancellor of the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill. He welcomes readers’ messages