Faculty, staff and students … here we are just days away from a new academic year!
It is one of my favorite times of the year when students start to arrive on campus. I love feeling their excitement as they venture across the Oval, gather at the Lory Student Center, and explore all the spaces and places on our beautiful campuses. You can feel the energy rise almost overnight as we transition from the quiet summer months to the start of fall.
I’ve experienced the start of the fall semester here at CSU more than 30 times, and each time it feels exhilarating. And each time, I take the opportunity to visit a few of my favorite old and new places, and it gives me an enormous sense of gratitude for this institution.
This week I’ll take a walk around Main Campus, though I have favorite spots on the South, Foothills and Mountain Campuses as well. I’ll go to the plaza where students gather to exchange ideas, meet friends, and make plans to go to the library (I’m sure that’s what they’re planning!) to study and get a head start on their classes.
I’ll go into Morgan Library where students and faculty will be hard at work learning and preparing for their courses, and while there, I’ll look across the way to the Clark Building. Ahhh. The Clark Building. One of our most heavily utilized academic buildings, and after 54 years it is about to have an amazing expansion and transformation.
I’ll go to see the newly designed and painted Ram Walk street mural Stalwart. Five-hundred feet of Ram pride that celebrates the CSU experience and our stalwart community of educators, learners, staff, and alumni.
I’ll go into the new Nutrien Building and stand in awe in the classroom-in-the-round and know it is an exemplar of how we embrace new teaching methodologies and seek new ways to engage our students through teaching, research, and other scholarly and creative endeavors.
I’ll stop at Newton’s Circle and think of all the giants in my life.
And finally, I’ll return to my office by walking through the Oval to remind myself of our traditions and all those who came before us who believed in our great institution and its land-grant mission of teaching, research, service, engagement, and access.
I encourage all of you in our Ram community – faculty, staff, students, families, friends – to discover something new this week that you have yet to experience about Colorado State University. I’m sure there are new or renovated buildings and outdoor areas you have yet to explore. An adventure awaits you.
Survey the landscape and know you belong here, and you are part of what makes CSU one of the top institutions of higher education in the nation. I’m looking forward to sharing an exciting fall semester and academic year with you, and I can’t begin to imagine the heights to which we will soar together.
Embrace this time of year and the new beginnings it brings! And please introduce yourself if you catch me grabbing coffee at Sweet Sinsations. That’s one of my favorite spots, too.
Janice L. Nerger
Interim Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs