Monday, December 20, 2010

A Giving Institution

By John D. Bland

UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research university. It leverages its location in the state’s largest city to offer internationally competitive programs of research and creative activity, exemplary undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, and a focused set of community engagement initiatives. UNC Charlotte maintains a particular commitment to addressing the cultural, economic, educational, environmental, health, and social needs of the greater Charlotte region.

What you have just read is the mission statement of UNC Charlotte. What it promises is that our University is committed to making the Charlotte region a better place. Ours is a public university and thus it is must give back to the public value that validates the public’s investment in UNC Charlotte. (This past Saturday, we delivered unto the community almost 3,000 new graduates during our cmmenecement ceremonies; may the job market provide them with the opportunities they are seeking.)

In challenging economic times such as these, with new leadership taking the helm in our state and a reorganization of state government in the offing, it’s important to remember that the University adds incredible value to our community; it is a giving institution.

In the edition of the UNC Charlotte magazine, available digitally at the URL below, you’ll see prime examples of how the people of UNC Charlotte are addressing the needs of the Charlotte community. Ross Meentemeyer and his associates are studying how a fast-growing metropolis like Charlotte still retains some of the pastoral spaces of bygone days – and what that means for future development. You’ll read a moving account of how a husband-wife team of researchers are making breakthroughs locally in the fight against a heartbreaking disease – Alzheimers. Also in those pages are articles about UNC Charlotte’s Freedom School and our work in presenting the Women’s Summit.

The Freedom Schools program provides summer and after-school enrichment that helps budding CMS scholars fall in love with reading, increases their self-esteem, and generates more positive attitudes toward learning. The Women’s Summit provides a forum and concerted effort for local women to help solve the region’s challenges and ensure that women leaders stay engaged in leading our community.

There’s much more in this edition that shows how invaluable UNC Charlotte is to the Charlotte region. Take a look and find out. Thanks for your investment in UNC Charlotte and your continuing support. And never hesitate to stake your claim to your share of a great urban research university.
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