During this season of gratitude and joy, I'd like to extend a personal thank you for your partnership and support in building a stronger, better UNT.
As we prepare to welcome 2008, I invite you to take a moment to reflect on the strides we've made during our first year together.
This year, more than 34,000 students are discovering the power of ideas at UNT, and our latest record-breaking enrollment further bolstered our status as one of Texas' fastest growing institutions. This is good news for a public university committed to providing affordable access to top-quality students.
Our Emerald Eagle Scholars program launched this fall by welcoming about 400 bright students to campus who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to attend a university. Supported by an endowment created through my inauguration celebration in April, this important program is the only one of its kind in Texas and there are only 30 similar programs nationwide. To ensure its success, we will grow its supporting fund by sponsoring an Emerald Ball each year. I hope you'll make plans to join us March 1 for this year's ball.
And speaking of our bright students, last year they earned 23 nationally competitive scholarships, including four Barry Goldwater Scholarships in Math and Science. UNT is one of the nation's seven universities to earn the maximum number of Goldwater awards.
Likewise, UNT's talented faculty members earned significant grant awards to support their work in everything from nanotechnology research to documenting endangered languages and digitizing historical newspapers.
We extended our global impact by becoming Thailand's American partner in its quest to secure doctoral degrees for 30 percent of its 20,000 Rajabhat University faculty members by 2014.
The generous spirit of our faculty and staff also helped UNT surpass its goal for the 2007 State Employee Charitable Campaign, which brought in $189,558 worth of donations - well above the $160,000 goal and the actual 2006 pledges of $158,329. Our generosity will make a tremendous difference in the lives of the people who need our support.
And with the help of our many friends and supporters, our endowment grew from $67 million to $91 million, which will ensure we continue to provide rigorous, quality educational experiences and opportunities to students seeking a better tomorrow.
Our university is on the move, and we are gaining momentum. I look forward to our future.
With green pride,