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  Reaching Farther and Higher

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Reaching Farther and Higher

By Michael K. Young

As members of the University of Utah community, we are entering an extraordinary era—one that will forever change the physical and academic landscape of our campus and enhance the impact the U will continue to have around the world.

Certainly our history bears witness to our strength and potential. Our faculty and students continue to garner international recognition, and the knowledge they share is taking root in the lives of people around the globe. The ’s reputation for technological innovation and scientific breakthrough is growing exponentially. The companies generated from research conducted at the U are adding fuel to a resilient regional economy that has long benefitted from the University’s contributions.

Now, however, it is time to expand our thinking.

In this issue of Continuum, you will discover how the U is building on its remarkable momentum with a bold comprehensive campaign to raise $1.2 billion by 2013. This campaign will create extraordinary educational opportunities for generations to come. Our theme, Together We Reach: The Campaign for the University of Utah, reflects our unwavering belief in the support of friends and alumni, and in the strength we have to reach new heights.

I believe this campaign will be a transformative experience for all of us. It builds on the fundamental fact that everything involved with higher education requires reaching—from students who are reaching to fulfill a dream, to faculty who are reaching for new ideas and knowledge. This campaign will build on the success of previous efforts and further enhance a culture of learning and an environment of unique innovation.

I realize some might question the unveiling of such an audacious campaign during these troubling economic times. But I am convinced that there has never been a more important time for us to launch this campaign.

Throughout our history, the University has proven its ability to rise to the occasion; to be part of the solution to the challenges of the day. We have helped to build economies, improve the human condition, and illuminate the darkness. That is our role and our commitment. And with your help, that is our future.

What we do for the University during the next five years isn’t just about this campaign. It is about the generations of students yet to come—for the experiences they will have and the knowledge they will attain, thanks to the scholarships we create and the facilities we build. It is for the faculty who will come and the research they will conduct, thanks to the chairs we endow and the equipment we provide. It is for the decades of discoveries that will move from our laboratories to our children’s homes, for the diseases we will conquer and the worlds we will explore.

There is no greater investment with a more sound return than that of higher education. And there is no better time to take on that venture than now.

In this issue you’ll read more about the campaign and the focus of our efforts. You’ll get a better understanding of the U’s Campus Master Plan and a preview of the transformation of an already beautiful campus into an even more extraordinary one. And you’ll read about how the U fosters science and business innovation, particularly through the USTAR initiative. But the U is, at its heart, about people, and in these pages you’ll also meet a few of the extraordinary individuals associated with the University—from opera virtuoso Robert Breault (Spotlight) to mountaineer and humanitarian Conrad Anker BA’88 (Alum Profile).

It is our time to display some of the pioneer courage that the founders of the University of Utah so expertly demonstrated. And it is our time to prove to the world once again that those who support this great institution are not deterred by challenges.

It is indeed time to reach together!

—Michael K. Young is president of the University of Utah

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