As we head into Thanksgiving week, I wanted to express my gratitude for your hard work and dedication to Brockport. I am grateful to be part of a caring academic community that works hard to ensure that our students find this a great university at which to learn. So many of you participated in the latest open houses, and you saw first-hand how engaged the prospective students are. Others of you are involved in ensuring that our campus is beautiful and safe, and still others work behind the scenes to support the work we collectively undertake. Thank you.
The hard work is paying off: just this past week, Governor Hochul announced that SUNY had achieved higher enrollment this fall than the previous fall—and this is the first gain in enrollment in ten years. Overall, enrollment across SUNY is up 1.1%, and up 4.3% for undergraduate first time enrollment. Our numbers stack up incredibly well against this backdrop. SUNY Brockport’s overall enrollment is up 7.9% from a year ago, the largest increase in all of SUNY. This is due to our recruiting success at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as our increased retention rates. SUNY Brockport’s first-time undergraduate enrollment is up 25.2%—the highest percentage for any of the comprehensive colleges and universities. This is a result of hard work and dedicated effort. I am reminded of the familiar quotation from Aristotle: “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives –choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”
While I believe we must acknowledge that chance does play a role in an individual’s life, or in an institution’s, we do have the ability to make choices that help us achieve our goals. And I am grateful for all of the choices that you make each day to support our students and their growth. Excellence is within their reach—because of you.
On Thursday evening last week, SUNY Brockport held a Community Conversation on the conflict in the Middle East. I would like to thank Dr. Jamie Spiller and Dr. Carl Davila for sharing their personal experiences and expertise with those in attendance. I’d also like to thank Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Damita Davis for her work in facilitating the event. Conversations such as these are challenging and can be emotional. But they’re also incredibly important because they offer an opportunity for us to learn and to grow. We plan to host more of these Community Conversations on a variety of topics in the new year. More information will be forthcoming from the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion about these conversations and the ways in which you can participate.
I wish you peace and comfort this holiday break, as we prepare for the final weeks of the semester.
Thank you for all that you do.