A few goals for new, returning Gators this semester

Welcome to UF! Whether you just graduated from high school and have moved to Gainesville to start your bachelor's degree or you attended college in another country and have come to Florida to pursue a graduate or professional degree, I am so pleased you chose UF as your university. I have three goals for you this academic year.

My first goal is for you to learn and achieve more than you thought possible through challenging yourself academically and intellectually. Our aspiration for UF, including its students and faculty, is that we will be known worldwide for our excellence and leadership. I hope UF will shape how you think and what you do for the rest of your life.

My second goal is for you to be personally enriched by the amazing breadth and diversity of this university. UF is intentionally and intensely comprehensive in its programs and people. There are only a handful of universities in the world that can approach our combination of excellence and breadth. This diversity is visible in our 16 colleges and hundreds of undergraduate and graduate programs, both residential and online. Our comprehensive excellence also extends outside the classroom, including in our world-champion athletic programs and UF Health hospitals. With students and faculty from more than 100 nations and six continents, I predict you will be enriched by those with whom you study, learn and play.

Finally, I hope you will find UF to be a personal university. My goal is not just that we will be known as one of the world’s very best universities, but also that we will be known as a university that cares about its people. Starting with the president, please know that the administration, faculty and staff are here for you and care deeply about you.

As new students arrive, my wife Linda and I will be living in Jennings Hall. We look forward to welcoming you to UF and meeting your family members and friends. Residents of Jennings will be pleased to know that by the first day of classes, Linda and I will have moved back to our permanent residence in the Dasburg House. When you see Linda or me walking across campus, talking to students on Turlington Plaza or at an athletic event, please introduce yourself. I look forward to meeting you. My personal email is kent.fuchs@ufl.edu.

As you will soon discover, It is great to be a Florida Gator.

Kent Fuch is the UF president.

This column ran Aug. 14 in the Alligator's New Student Edition.