August 2022 Letter from the Chairman
Hello UConn Nation!
Though we may not be quite ready to say goodbye to summer, students will be arriving at UConn’s campuses in just a matter of weeks. While we soak up the final rays of the season, there is much to look forward to as we turn our attention to the fall.
While UConn is in the midst of a national search for our next president, our new academic year will be ushered in under the direction of our highly capable interim president, Radenka Maric. Her skillful leadership is sure to seamlessly guide us into the 2022-2023 academic year.
As the Huskies return to the playing fields this fall, there will be some new faces at the helm.
UConn’s own Chris Gbandi arrives back in Storrs more than two decades after leading the Huskies to their last Men’s Soccer national championship. One of the most decorated players in the history of the program, Chris won the 2000 Hermann Trophy, soccer’s version of the Heisman, and was the #1 pick in the 2001 MLS Superdraft.
There is plenty of buzz in advance of UConn football head coach Jim Mora’s first full season as the head coach of the Huskies. Coach Mora has over 30 years of coaching experience in both the NCAA and NFL. I couldn’t be more excited to see what he can do with this promising team and can’t wait to get out to “The Rent” for the home opener on September 3rd.
In keeping with UConn’s nimble and ever-evolving nature, new “Championship Labs” out of the Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will help student athletes create branding plans and manage the business aspects of their careers while at UConn. This program is a testament to UConn’s commitment to continuing to serve its student athletes through this shifting landscape of college athletics.
It is not only the athletic landscape that is changing rapidly. Despite our size as a major university, UConn is nimble and responsive to the changing requirements and demands of providing a first-class higher education. The University recently extended the pilot program which allows applicants to decide whether or not students want to submit standardized test scores. The results of this program have been promising, with early indicators seeing “notable increases in applications and enrollments among well-qualified students from first-generation, low-income and underrepresented populations.”
And our research continues to be cutting edge. From working to protect Connecticut’s wildlife and natural resources, to solving the nation’s energy problems, UConn’s work and research runs the gamut from our backyard to our nation and beyond.
I want to thank our elected officials for their leadership and investment in UConn. There is no doubt that UConn is a major economic driver for the state of Connecticut, and investment in the university and in UConn Health is critical to the success of our state.
Finally, please don’t forget to follow us on social media and sign up here for our action alerts. It is because of supporters like you that we can continue to further our mission. We are planning a series of receptions this fall, so keep an eye out for an invitation.