Infusing a Spirit to Dream Big
Message from the Vice President for Student Affairs
A new day has dawned at UT Arlington, one full of energy and promise. The opening of the transformational College Park Center, record-breaking enrollment, the upcoming move to the Western Athletic Conference—all are dreams becoming reality. As the University continues its unprecedented progress, providing an enriching experience for our growing student population takes on greater importance.
Monumental advancements in campus life have made UT Arlington a popular destination for students seeking the traditional college experience. A recent orientation survey showed UT Arlington as the first or second choice of 85 percent of our full-time freshmen. A vibrant campus scene translates into more of our nearly 33,500 students wanting to live here. This coming fall, we will have 5,000-plus campus residents and more than 10,000 students living in private housing within five miles.
A strong connection to the campus community carries over to academics, where surveys indicate that retention and four-year graduation rates are higher for our freshmen and transfer students who participate in Student Affairs initiatives. At UT Arlington, substantial learning happens beyond the walls of our state-of-the-art classrooms and cutting-edge research laboratories. We understand the importance of offering co-curricular activities that foster a rich educational environment for our students.
Complementing UT Arlington’s strategies to become a major national research university, we have significantly increased opportunities for students to embrace the Maverick community. Established traditions have been enhanced and fresh ones started. This surge has created a campus that buzzes with activity, enabling more students to acquire the leadership skills to thrive at UT Arlington and succeed in the global marketplace.
We are setting attendance records at many of our signature campus events and reaching new heights in numerous programs. Consider the Fall Concert Series, which has welcomed big-name entertainers such as Rihanna, Maroon 5, and Ludacris, and The Big Event, through which more than 900 volunteers completed 3,600 hours of community service in one day. The Parent and Family Association has grown steadily from its founding in 2006 to a membership of more than 700 families. The Leadership Center, Multicultural Affairs, New Maverick Orientation, Office for Students with Disabilities, and the Relationship Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention program have increased in size and scope, offering vital resources for a fulfilling student experience.
During this unparalleled period of growth, UT Arlington also has maintained its commitment to excellence. The Texas Intercollegiate Press Association named The Shorthorn Best Daily Newspaper and theshorthorn.com Best News Website. Our Greek community raised more than $100,000 in donations from chapter philanthropies last year. The seven-time national champion Movin’ Mavs continue their rich history of wheelchair basketball eminence.
Last year the Off Campus Mavericks lounge and commuter center opened for students who live off campus and those who use the Maverick Activities Center. The MAC, incidentally, debuted in 2007 and now provides health and wellness activities for 4,500 students, faculty, and staff each day.
Spurred by the expansion in student programming and services, a contagious passion to bleed blue and orange is permeating campus. Several groups fuel the excitement, including the Maverick Wranglers, a spirit section that debuted at the grand opening of College Park Center in February. Joining the Wranglers are mascot Blaze and the cheer squad, which won the 2010 National Collegiate Cheerleading Association competition.
Our students are our future, and we are determined to provide a robust environment that nurtures and challenges them to be next-generation leaders. By creating opportunities for meaningful involvement, we can have a greater impact on the student educational experience. We will forever dream big and reach for the stars in our quest to make UT Arlington one of the best universities in the nation.