Welcome Back Bulldogs!
A New School Year Begins
Loaded down with clothes, computer equipment and textbooks, the Class of 2014 arrived on campus Friday, Aug. 20, ready to join the ranks of UNC Asheville Bulldogs.
Students settled into the residence halls quickly, thanks to the helping hands of volunteer faculty, staff, upperclassmen, alumni and College for Seniors members. This decades-old, annual tradition, which is welcomed by students and parents alike, helps facilitate a busy and emotional rite of passage.
Later that day, the 600 freshmen officially launched the academic year at the Convocation ceremony. The event featured the presentation of the class pin as well as the class tree, an American Chestnut that will be planted on the A.C. Reynolds Green behind Ramsey Library.
Bill Miller, professor and chair of Environmental Studies, gave the keynote address entitled “Don’t Sleepwalk Through Life!” Miller is the 2010 recipient of the UNC Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award.
Returning students noted that progress had been made on several campus construction projects during the summer months. The North Carolina Center for Health & Wellness, near the Justice Center, remains on time and under budget with an expected opening in April 2011. Work is currently under way on the parking deck. Students walking to class could see the finishing touches on the Quad, which was recently re-seeded following the drilling of 34 geothermal wells as part of the renovation Rhoades Hall and Tower.
As usual, the annual college rankings began rolling in just as the academic year begins. UNC Asheville continues to receive high marks from a host of prestigious guides.
Parade magazine, the nationwide Sunday newspaper insert, ranked UNC Asheville among just 21 small state schools on its “College A-List” for offering “a big-league education” on Aug. 22.
The 2011 edition of Fiske Guide to Colleges calls UNC Asheville “one of the best educational bargains in the country.” And for the seventh consecutive year, Fiske Guide named the Environmental Studies Department to its list of pre-professional programs “with unusual strength in preparing students for careers.”
Most notably, U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” highlighted the university on several of its prestigious rankings. It listed the Undergraduate Research Program among the best in the nation for the ninth consecutive year. The guide noted UNC Asheville as the only North Carolina institution among its National Liberal Arts Colleges category whose students graduate with the least amount of debt. UNC Asheville faculty were lauded for having “an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.” In addition, the university moved up from number nine to number five in the “Top Up-and-Coming School” category among National Liberal Arts Colleges.