Without a doubt, 2020 has been a year of great adversity. Some may be running low on energy or drive, or overwhelmed with problems, as COVID-19 has severely disrupted the way we work, live and play. As a result of our current COVID climate, UT is seeking to solve our state’s most complex problems.
The 45 words of the First Amendment encapsulate the liberty we cherish. You cannot be supporters of freedom of speech and assembly of only ideas with which you agree and only people with whom you agree.
As we’ve watched the nation’s events unfold in the recent wrongful death of George Floyd, our hearts are deeply grieved. So many are asking, “What can we do?”
As we approach our fall semester, I am optimistic about our re-entry to campus. Our faculty and staff have been heroic in their efforts this spring, and remain focused on putting students first despite adversity.
In these challenging times, all of us are determined to keep what is most important first in every action and every decision: the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff – nothing will have a higher priority.
In order to make this the greatest decade in UT history, we must continually seek ways to honor our land-grant mission. We don’t want to measure ourselves by who we exclude; we want to measure ourselves by who we include.
I am convinced, more so than ever, that there is no better time in the University of Tennessee’s history than now. As I look back on the last year, I am encouraged by all that has been accomplished and energized about what’s to come.
It is essential that U.S. higher education institutions connect and engage in the world to bring the good work of our faculty to the public, to build collaborations that strengthen the impact of our knowledge and to harness opportunities for our students and graduates to grow and learn.
I am thrilled that we are able to offer this scholarship to our current undergraduate students who attend our UT campuses across the state. We are committed to helping our students achieve their dream of obtaining an undergraduate degree, and the UT Promise scholarship helps alleviate some of the financial burden many future and current college students face.
It is inspirational to see the amazing men and women who dedicate their lives to making their communities and our state better as Extension agents. They represent our University so well.