The beginning of the fall semester is always a special time at UNF. There is an unmistakable energy on campus among students, faculty and staff as we all look ahead to a successful academic year. Having served as President for 14 years, I can attest that the feeling of optimism and exhilaration at the semester’s start never goes away!
This summer and fall, we welcomed about 2,300 freshmen to our campus — bright, accomplished students ready to embark on their college journeys and the road to adulthood. Our new fall class comes to UNF with an average high school GPA above 4.0 and, once all numbers are in, is expected to have the highest GPA in UNF history. These are our future doctors, engineers, business leaders and researchers — and it all starts here at UNF.
In this edition of the Journal, you’ll read about current students and several impressive alumni who are making a difference in STEM fields — from a local civil engineer easing traffic issues on our highways to a molecular biology/chemistry student conducting research in hopes of finding a cure for cancer. These extraordinary women want to inspire young girls and boys alike to work hard in science and math and consider these rewarding career paths.
As you may already know, UNF students study abroad at twice the national average. In this Journal, you’ll meet the first graduate of an innovative study abroad program with KEDGE Business School in Marseille, France, who is now pursuing our GlobalMBA degree. In addition to a semester at UNF, the unique graduate program includes study at universities in Germany, Poland and China.
We’re also pleased to feature in this issue our Military and Veterans Resource Center on campus, which is hailed as a national model. Our staff members at the MVRC do an amazing job not only aiding our military and veteran students through enrollment and other services, but also assisting them in the transition to campus and civilian life. UNF is consistently ranked a “Military Friendly School” and was named one of the “2017 Best Colleges for Veterans” by U.S. News & World Report. Our military and veteran students are extraordinary individuals who have given immeasurably through their service, and we are honored to have an opportunity to help them achieve their academic goals.
I hope you enjoy this edition of the Journal, which is packed full with stories of alumni, students, faculty and staff who are doing great things here at UNF, in North Florida and beyond.
We look forward to another great semester at UNF and hope to see you often!
John A. Delaney