Speeches 2012 Category Subscribe to RSS Feed

A New Future for Florida

Date: Nov 30th, 2012

As we all know from science, a paradigm shift can sometimes result in a quantum leap forward. That is the guiding principle behind this beautiful building we are gathered today to celebrate. It is the guiding principle behind Medical City. And, it is the trajectory of the next chapter in the story of Orlando – and indeed, in the story of the state of Florida.

In Recognition of Donors…and Faculty

Date: Oct 5th, 2012

This morning, I joined 3,000 students and donors to celebrate all of the many student scholarships created in the campaign. Now, I have the privilege of honoring the donors who have been so supportive of our faculty. And, I also get to recognize the faculty members who are the reason for all the university’s greatest achievements.

We Are Gainesville

Date: Sep 9th, 2012

Our advocacy for good may start out with seemingly small actions – first, by just listening to, and appreciating, one another. As it turns out, this is something that I think Gainesvillians have become very, very good at.

State of the University: The Morrill Act and the Path Ahead

Date: Aug 30th, 2012

The University of Florida is in a strong position amid these uneasy times – a stronger position, in many respects, than our peer public universities in other states. We also have a clear map for our future – a map first drawn 150 years ago this year in an era that was far darker than our own.

A Model for All People

Date: Aug 27th, 2012

If you are like me, you spent some time earlier this month watching the Olympics. I am so proud of the Gator women and men who together brought home 21 medals, more than Canada and Spain. However, I was most awed and inspired by another woman Olympian. She was not a Gator. She was not an American. She was not even a medal winner.

A Guardian for the Environment

Date: Jun 18th, 2012

Whether you made the trip here from Gainesville, Washington D.C., or Boulder, you are visiting one of Florida’s most pristine natural treasures. Our scientists and students have learned a great deal about our state’s environment from their work here at the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station. Today, we are glad to have this opportunity to share the station with you.

The Stronach Center: Rootstock for Florida Agriculture

Date: May 15th, 2012

As president of the University of Florida for the past eight years, I am, of course, proud of our achievements in education and our milestones in research. But especially in these lush days of mid-May …when I and my wife, Chris, are loading our kitchen countertop with Florida blueberries, Florida watermelon and Florida sweet corn … nothing could make me prouder than what UF and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have contributed to the tables, gardens and farms of this state and indeed, the entire nation.

Treat Time as a River

Date: Apr 28th, 2012

Miami Dade College trustees, faculty, families, friends, and especially, graduates of the Class of 2012 … greetings and congratulations! It is an honor to join you here at Kendall Campus, in beautiful Miami, and most of all at Miami Dade College, the largest and most dynamic higher-education institution in the nation.

From Hope to Achievement

Date: Apr 25th, 2012

I cannot tell you how pleased I am to join you here at the UF President’s House to celebrate your graduation. During my eight years as president of the University of Florida, I have taken pride in many, many achievements, from faculty awards to life-saving research discoveries to some of the highest-achieving students in UF history. But I can think of no greater accomplishment of this state, this university – and especially, you, the hard-working students who’ve made it happen – than the graduation of Florida Opportunity Scholars.

Our Trees Ground Us

Date: Apr 24th, 2012

Good morning, and welcome everyone. It sure is a nice change to see a crowd outside Tigert Hall with no one holding up protest signs!

In just a moment, we’ll plant that live oak, which was donated by Progress Energy. But, let me first note that before a university stood here, there stood trees. Old photographs, taken when we had just a handful of buildings, suggest that most were native longleaf pines. While the university’s growth spelled the end of that forest, it began another.

A Technology that Gives Hope

Date: Apr 21st, 2012

As we celebrate this anniversary, I am reminded that the Proton Therapy Institute is many things.

It is a first – the first proton therapy institute in the Southeast and one of the first in the nation. With a 440,000-pound cyclotron, it is a technological marvel, even in our age of technology. And, with patients arriving from around the world to seek treatment here, it creates jobs and economic growth in North Florida.

The “Summer of March” and Sustainability at the University of Florida

Date: Apr 6th, 2012

I am pleased to join all of you for this special day devoted to sustainability at the University of Florida. Each year about this time, we take stock of our progress and renew our sense of purpose. If you are like me, you feel the urgency of that purpose more than ever in 2012, the year of the “Summer of March.”

It has been warm in Florida — the warmest March on record in many cities. But temperatures up north have reached extremes out of the comics.

Great Beginnings at the UF Hall of Fame

Date: Apr 3rd, 2012

There are a lot of halls of fame in the world. There is the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Automotive Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We have the Insurance Hall of Fame … the Origami Hall of Fame … and here in the Sunshine State, the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, and, of course … the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Democracy and the Levin Advocacy Center

Date: Mar 30th, 2012

want to begin today by echoing Dean Jerry in thanking all of the donors who made this special day possible, with special acknowledgement of the Levin family.

The support of Fred Levin, his son, Martin, his late brothers, David and Allen, and his sister-in-law, Teri, have been a powerful wind behind the sails of the Levin College of Law. Fred, Terry and Martin, you have elevated this college to a flagship of the University of Florida and set it on course to be one of the nation’s best public law schools.

Art As Ambassador: Dedication Remarks for the Harn’s Cofrin Asian Art Wing

Date: Mar 30th, 2012

Anyone who has picked up a paint brush or a piece of clay knows it takes faith to make a piece of art. Perhaps what separates good artists from great ones is that great artists have an abundance of faith. They’re passionate, and they believe in their work – even when no one else shares their passion or conviction.

Less than a quarter century ago, the place where we are standing tonight was an empty field far from the hum of life on our main campus.

It took faith to imagine a popular art museum here. And it took passion to build this museum into a center of arts and culture, a renowned university art museum, and a campus-wide student center – complete, as of tonight, with the Cofrin Asian Art Wingon the other side of the doors behind me.

MindTree and the Future of Innovation Square

Date: Mar 27th, 2012

A little less than two years ago, the University of Florida and the Gainesville community came together on a project called Innovation Square – a 40-acre public-private partnership within walking distance of our campus. Today, I have some very special news to share with you.

This morning, we announced that a global information technology firm namedMindTree will become the first major company to locate at Innovation Square.

A Story Worth Telling: The History of UF Women Before Co-Education

Date: Mar 27th, 2012

I want to begin tonight by acknowledging a woman who has been my partner in all my work. As with all the best partnerships, we stand with each other in times of hardship, and we urge each other to new heights when things are easier. Whatever good has been achieved at the University of Florida since our arrival in 2004 is owed to the bond between the two of us. She is the First Lady and my wife, Chris Machen.

A Dwelling Place for Goodness: Remarks at the Groundbreaking for the Center for Jewish Life and Learning

Date: Mar 25th, 2012

Welcome, everyone, to this groundbreaking for the new Center for Jewish Life and Learning. After 12 years in Gainesville … some portions of which were spent in a tent … I sense among everyone here today an overwhelming feeling of joy.

Florida, Judaism and a UF Center for Jewish Studies

Date: Mar 17th, 2012

I want to start tonight by greeting the prominent scholars of the Holocaust who have journeyed here from around the world. We are honored to have you here with us for what is truly an extraordinary gathering and conference.

Toward a Smarter, More Sustainable 21st Century

Date: Feb 24th, 2012

As all of you are well aware, our state and nation have spent the past few years in a down economy. The housing crash and the plummet in new construction weighed especially heavily on this college and its alumni.

But this year, Florida and U.S. economists are pointing to signs of recovery. Florida’s population-growth numbers are on the way up, and the state’s unemployment rate is on the way down. Amid those promising signs, I want to stress your own promise. You and your college are uniquely positioned to lead our state, our nation and the globe toward a smarter, more sustainable 21st century.

The Conscience of the Campus

Date: Feb 17th, 2012

I am honored to join you to mark this 40th anniversary of the Institute of Black Culture. In the modern history of the University of Florida, few organizations have been as vital as the IBC.

Vital, because before the center was founded, black students attending this traditionally all-white university had nowhere to turn for support. Vital, because the IBC has offered a safe and familiar home for black students for four decades. And vital, because the IBC ended UF’s heritage of excluding other races and cultures and launched its practice of celebrating them, inspiring other groups to do the same. We are a much more diverse place than before IBC was established.

A University Without Walls

Date: Jan 27th, 2012

The Plaza of the Americas is surely one of the most open, public places on the University of Florida campus. Anyone can study or socialize here, hold a protest or have a party.

The freedom of the plaza embodies our vision of UF as an open, public university.

Of Buildings … and Blueberries

Date: Jan 12th, 2012

What a smart meeting space you’ve created here. I share your enthusiasm that cooperative extension agents finally have a building all their own, their first on the University of Florida’s main campus. Like all the best buildings, this one also speaks to a higher purpose – one powerfully conveyed by the unique medallion outside, above the front entrance.

I don’t know how many of you saw that medallion when you came in today. What struck me about it was, it does not depict oranges or some other iconic Florida fruit. Rather, it depicts – unmistakably and forever – blueberries.

Florida Innovation Hub Grand Opening

Date: Jan 11th, 2012

In an institution as old as the University of Florida, it is rare to experience an occasion that feels historic. This dedication is one of those rare occasions. That’s because the Innovation Hub is the cornerstone of a landmark.

Innovation Hub, as both the building itself and the idea behind it, is the “cornerstone of a landmark” for the university … for this community … for the state of Florida … and most of all, for the innovative things we will do to better human lives.

A First for Florida Bioenergy

Date: Jan 9th, 2012

Welcome, everyone, to the first bioethanol industrial scale plant to be completed in the state of Florida. We are making history today, and I want to start by reminding the audience how this came to be. We owe this milestone in university and state history to Representative Mayfield’s late husband, the namesake for this facility, House member Stan Mayfield.

Stan Mayfield was a thoughtful and dedicated legislator who had a rare appreciation for the connections among Florida’s people, environment and economy. He was a strong believer in energy independence. He was a supporter of Florida agriculture. And, he had deep concerns about the impacts of climate change here.