Dear UAB Community and Friends,
This new fall semester/academic year is off to an excellent start with a number of exciting events and accomplishments.

This past Monday we held our inaugural Faculty Convocation, where I was pleased to deliver the annual State of the University Address. The address highlighted how UAB continues to break new ground in all areas of our mission and, at the same time, break ground literally on several key facilities that will position us to have an even greater impact in the future. I look forward to updating staff at the Staff Council Picnic on Sept. 20 and our students at an event that will be scheduled in the coming weeks.
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Faculty Convocation is one of three events in this Faculty Celebration Month. The others are our New Faculty Reception, held just last night at the Alys Stephens Center, and a reception for newly tenured and promoted faculty to be held Sept. 27 at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts. At the Convocation, I was delighted to present a host of well-deserved awards to our faculty in recognition of their outstanding commitment and contributions to our university and our community. 

Among those awards presented was the newly established President’s Award for Excellence in Support of UAB and Shared Governance. We created this award to specifically recognize faculty leaders who exemplify the UAB core value of unity of purpose through shared governance, and the inaugural recipient was immediate past chair of the UAB Faculty Senate Alecia Gross.

Another new event held recently was our inaugural Freshman Convocation on Aug. 30 at Bartow Arena. This was a great opportunity to officially welcome these new students who make up the largest freshman class in UAB history. It’s been a pleasure to meet and get to know so many of these talented freshmen at the Convocation and other events such as Freshman Move-In Day (Aug. 27) and a reception for our new Honors College students (Aug. 25). 
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On the research and patient care fronts, we took a quantum leap yesterday with the dedication of UAB’s new supercomputer. We now have the most advanced supercomputer in Alabama in terms of computing speed and storage capacity, which will enable us to execute tasks in a couple of hours that took an entire day with the equipment we had in 2015. Our new capabilities will bolster our efforts to attract and support top faculty, make us even more competitive in securing research funding, further position us at the vanguard of personalized medicine and accelerate our world-changing discoveries.
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This has been a most eventful and accomplished beginning to this academic year and even greater milestones lie ahead, including some big news about our fall enrollment numbers (stay tuned). This is going to be an outstanding year and I look forward to seeing you around campus and out in our community.