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UTA Service Awards (Outstanding Mavericks and 25-Year Club)

April 6, 2016

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. It’s a pleasure and an honor to be with you today on this very special occasion as we celebrate the contributions, commitment and dedication of a truly talented group of outstanding members of the UTA family. As I look around this room, I see faculty members, researchers, business managers, administrators, and support staff members who help make our University a world-class institution.  It’s a tremendous statement of the impact that you have when a busy State Representative takes the time to be here as part of the celebration.  I know State Representative Tony Tinderholt had to leave early, but his presence here is deeply appreciated.

When we honor people, we recognize them for their contributions, for their service, and for their love and commitment to the institution. We also make an important statement—that we recognize the example that they set and value we place on such service.

An institution does not develop a reputation for greatness, or its ability to provide knowledge to students, or even its excellence in research through transitory contributions. The reputation is derived from continuity and a history of effort and achievement—in fact through the legacy of those who toil, often behind the scenes, so that our students receive the very best educational experience.

To those we are honoring today, words are insufficient to express our gratitude. We would not be here talking about the Carnegie R-1 classification, or being ranked the top four-year college in Texas for veterans, or having programs in every college and school ranked among the top graduate programs in the nation, if it were not for their dedicated service—so let me extend my congratulations and deep appreciation to each of our honorees.

Today, we celebrate an extraordinary group of individuals who have achieved 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, and even 50 years of service at the University of Texas at Arlington. We also honor our Outstanding Mavericks.  On behalf of all of us at UTA, I’d like to let you know how grateful we are for the investment that each of you have made here, and I look forward to working together with you for many more years as we continue on the steep trajectory that defines our journey to pre-eminence.  Your enthusiasm, professionalism, and spirit make UTA a special place, and you are playing a critical role in shaping our institution for the future. 

A number of you have heard me describe UTA as the model 21st Century Urban Research University.  We are known for innovation and diversity, our focus on excellence and access, and our dedication to student success.  We are also known for our tremendous faculty and staff.  You are the engine that drives this institution to new heights of excellence and gained it a reputation as a fast-moving university with a fabulous future.  A reputation like this does not get developed overnight.  It is a legacy of the past and a catalyst for our acceleration into the future.

From humble beginnings in 1895 as Arlington College, through a number of changes, UTA is now a national university of renown, the academic home to over 52,000 students from around the world, and rapidly being counted as among “the best of the best,” and an institution that sets standards for others to follow.

You’ve helped bring about this success, and all of us at UTA offer you our deep and everlasting gratitude. I know that we will be applauding each of you in a few minutes, but right now I would like to ask all of you who are being honored today to please stand as a group so that we can recognize you for what you represent—a group that helped put us on a tremendous trajectory and one that has always reminded us to keep close to our mission—the education of students.

Thank you for all you’ve done and all, that I’m confident, you will continue to do for UTA.