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9 > Image 9 of Kentucky Alumni, vol. 82, no. 3, Fall 2011

Part of Kentucky alumnus

I Presidential Conversation New to the Blue About IO years ago, when my daughter was I3 years old, she in- again, recruited the most _ _ { 1 sisted I watch with her, the movie, Gladiator, I didnt know why academically prepared class ' 2 TT" she asked but, looking for a moment to bond with my daughter, I in our institutions history agreed, At the end ofthe movie, I turned to her and asked, What Now that we have settled was the most important statement that Russell Crowe made to his into Maxwell Place, I have followers ? redoubled my effort to un- fi; She didnt know, but I persisted and asked again, Please, as a derstand our institution, it parent, tell me what you thought was the most important state- community and state, I have ment, met with more of our She said, Oh, I got it On my command, unleash hell, world-class faculty, spent After a short laugh and some time to compose myself, I said, time with our devoted No, The most important question was when he turned to his fol- physical plant staff and iden- lowers and asked, (Why are we here ? tiHed key community and business leaders who can expand our ca- I asked myself the same question when I decided to uproot my pacity to serve Lexington and make it a great place to raise a wife and our two dogs from our home in Alabama, And it is the family and start a business, Integrating their insights about the same question I continue to ask our faculty, staff and students university and where we see ourselves in the future is a key compo- every day, A continual assessment of our mission to serve is critical nent of my tenure, to our beloved institution if we hope to move our university and And, Hnally, I have been fortunate enough to spend time with the Commonwealth toward a better future, the University of Kentuckys extended family, our alumni and My recruitment to the University of Kentucky began more than friends who continue to support our mission in a multitude of IO years ago when I heard President Lee T, Todd, ]r, speak at a na- ways, You are unpaid recruiters who share the countless opportu- tional conference on the importance of land-grant institutions, nities UK can offer to the best students in your community, You IIis devotion to UK and his commitment to the Commonwealth are volunteer consultants who provide crucial feedback and cre- immediately signaled to me that UK was not just another univer- ative approaches to issues facing our institution and state, You are sity it was a special place with special people, private fundraisers who generously contribute to the university, Before Iwas announced as the universitys preferred candidate, both Hscally and in-kind, And you are our extended family with my wife, Mary Lynne, and I traveled to Lexington to visit UK and an unparalleled hospitality that has warmed our hearts, the city we now call home, Dressed to blend in, we set out across At every turn, I grow more enthusiastic and optimistic about the campus for six hours to discover what it was that people loved ro ad ahead, By working together with the creative minds at our about the University of Kentucky, We met students; we spent time university, our devoted partners in the community, policy leaders at William T, Young Library; and we visited the ]ames W Stuck- throughout our state and our committed alumni and friends, we ert Career Center, The fervor I heard in each persons voice con- will reach our shared aspirations, Hrmed that UK is more than an institution it is a family, I will continue to visit you in quarterly editions of Kentucky Prior to my Hrst day in office, I sat down with nearly 60 faculty Alumni magazine, You can also follow our work through my blog, from colleges and departments across campus, When I asked what uknow,uky,edu/ president, or on UKNow, the universitys official made them proud to be a part of the University of Kentucky, one news website, at uknow,uky,edu, I look forward to our future to- ofthe Hrst things they talked about was our incredible student gether and seeing you at some of our athletic events or one of our body, Since my arrival, I have had the opportunity to spend time many academic or Hne arts programs, with our new students, and I am proud to say that we have, once Until next time; continue seeing blue, Wildcats! E2; Z? me Eli Capilouto President S G G U G. b I TM m everyt/amg we da. www.uka| 7