Another academic year is under way at UIndy. Implementation of the Vision 2030 strategic plan is progressing well. Construction of the UIndy Health Pavilion has begun. Our master’s in public health program began as well. We are close to being able to share with you a new design for our Krannert Memorial Library. We’ve hired our men’s and women’s lacrosse coaches so they can begin building their programs in preparation for our August 2015 launch.
Your input and feedback has been crucial to the formation of our strategic plan. Great universities have great alumni, and I am thankful for all of your help in making our past year a success. One way that we judge the success of our work is through the alumni and friends who choose to support us with an annual gift. Giving over the past year included 4,226 donors, more than half of whom are alumni—and the number of alumni donors increased more than 5 percent over last year. Your generosity ensures that we can continue to deliver our unique education to the most worthy students.
In August we welcomed our largest freshman class ever. In fact, we are now home to a record 930 freshmen from many states and countries—exceeding last year’s freshman class by nearly 150 students. And these new freshmen represent one of the most academically qualified new classes in University history. The average GPA for our new freshman class is close to 3.5 on a 4-point scale, and includes 21 valedictorians and salutatorians. Almost all of our students come to us with volunteer or leadership experience, making them a nice fit with the traditions we hold dear.
Our newest international students hail from Australia, Austria, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe. Some 40 transfer students come from our sister university, Ningbo Institute of Technology, in eastern China.
Over the years, you have been supportive of all our University’s efforts. UIndy continues to grow in a number of important ways, and I am hopeful that you will continue to support our work. One new way to support the University is through our new Champions Challenge. All of our athletic programs are now competing consistently on the national level. UIndy had a stellar 2013–14, with four GLVC (Great Lakes Valley Conference) team championships, 19 teams in postseason play, a national NCAA discus champion, and a Division II softball Pitcher of the Year, and a No. 4 national ranking in the Directors’ Cup—our highest ranking yet among the 312 Division II programs. We are building on this momentum with the Champions Challenge campaign (see opposite page) to invest in all our athletics facilities and programs. Our goal is to raise $500,000 to create additional direct investments in our athletics program. I hope you’ll help us meet that challenge.
Robert L. Manuel