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9 > Image 9 of Kentucky Alumni, vol. 81, no. 4, Winter 2010

Part of Kentucky alumnus

Presidential Conversation ; ~ 1w?*_ F -- e i ~. M-., * 7 The university welcomes a banner fr rst-year class Earlier this fall, I announced that I would be retiring as President of the University of Ken- tuclqa The job of a lifetime for any UK alum, this position has meant so much to me, Patsy and our entire family I will certainly spend the next several months thanking those through- out the UK family for making the past 10 years so special. I must start by thanking our wonderful alumni from across Kentuclqr, the nation, and the i ,___ world. I appreciate the support you have provided me and my family over the years, and I will if T always take great pride knowing that I am a member of the greatest organization on the planet: the UK family. I IIaving said that, this is not a goodbye. We have a lot of work to do over the next several months, and we have a lot for which to be proud. When you look across our campus, it is clear that the future is bright for the Common- wealth of Kentuclqa Our enrollment Hgures show this falls freshman class is the most academ- ically-prepared in UK history This years entering class includes 4,326 students, up from 4,153 last year. We had about 3,000 students in the Hrst-year class when I took this job. Our incoming freshmen had a record 25.2 ACT composite average, up from 24.7 last year. The average high school GPA also is at an all-time high at 3.60. We are setting new records because your university is more attractive to students than ever. In fall 2009, the university received a record 12,000 student applications. This fall, we received 13,600 new freshman applications. And we are drawing students in the challenging math and science Helds, even as schools across the nation are struggling to do so. Freshman enrollment in our College of Engineering went from 593 in 2009 to 684 in 2010 a 15 percent increase. This is on the heels of a 26 percent enrollment increase in last years class. We are not simply attracting more students; we are making sure they are successful once they step on campus. Our Hrst-to-sec- ond year retention rate also was 82 percent this past year, which was a UK record. It was at 75 percent just a few years ago. As a result of our larger freshman class and our soaring retention rate, your university is now home to a record 28,000 under- graduate, graduate, and professional students. This also happens to be the most diverse class in UK history Our African-American enrollment is up again this year, as is our Hispanic enrollment. When I started at UK in 2001, we received 537 applications from African-American students. This year, we received 2,066 ap- plications. I contend such a surge transpired because the front of our classrooms and our research labs are more diverse, as well. UK had 89 African-American faculty in fall 2009, up from 57 when I took office. Despite this years talented and diverse class, we must remain focused on making sure a UK education remains affordable and accessible to all Kentuckians. That is why I launched the Presidents Scholarship Initiative. Scholarships provide young people with the greatest gift anyone can give: the gift of opportunity Now, more than ever before, scholarships are essential to this states future. When you combine rising tuition rates with re- duced state appropriations, providing a young person a scholarship may be the difference between them coming to UK or not. It may be the difference between them being inspired by one of our world-class faculty members in the classroom, or in one of our research labs. I encourage you to contact the UK Alumni Association or our Office of Development to Hnd out how you can join me in making sure students in all 120 Kentuclqr counties can receive a world-class education right here in the Commonwealth. Thank you, again, for all that you do on behalf of our alma mater. Sincerely, Lee T. Todd]r. President in everything we da. www.uka| 7