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Employee Recognition Ceremonies

April 5, 2017

Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. As President I get to speak at a number of events but few are as important and satisfying as the one we are at today. This event helps us to honor the past, celebrate the present and build our future. It gives me and others a chance to thank you for all that you have done to not only keep the university running but to ensure that we continuously aspire to higher levels of excellence.

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 that things do not just happen and that progress and excellence are the consequence of sustained effort and dedication. An institution does not develop a reputation for greatness, or its ability to provide knowledge to students, or even its excellence in research through transitionary 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 being the model 21st Century Urban Research University or the urban flagship if it were not for dedicated service of so many of you – so let me extend my congratulations and deep appreciation to each of our honorees.

Thank you for what you do every day for our students and the future that their education enables not just for them, but their families and the community.

Thank you for the long hours spent in teaching, advising and counseling that made it possible for over 11,500 students to graduate in the last year and probably a thousand more this year.

Thank you for making this a university that values excellence and access, now an institution of first choice for our students and the largest campus in the UT System.

Thank you for making this a welcoming and beautiful campus, an oasis in the center of a city that is slowly finding its path, being guided by what you do here every day – setting standards for others to follow.

Thank you for making us an integral part of the community we serve.

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, 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.

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, one that has always reminded us to keep close to our mission – the education of students, and one that is leading our way to a spectacular future.

Thank you for all you’ve done and all that I’m confident you will continue to do for UTA. We stand in your debt as we celebrate your service.