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ChancellorAugust 24, 2023

Welcome to Fall 2023


On this first day of the new academic year, I am overcome with pride watching our campus fill up with students once more. It is such a joy to welcome each of you to our campus, and to see so many familiar faces waving as they pass my window, and so many new students, consulting their campus maps. To all of you: You are right where you're meant to be, and I’m so glad you have chosen to be a UAFS Lion.

If you’re looking around and feeling like there is more energy on campus, you’re right. As of today, our fall 2023 enrollment is up 10 percent in first-time entering students, and our overall enrollment has grown, too. With this influx of new students we see our campus become more vibrant and more diverse, and I am thrilled to see the ways your varied backgrounds help our campus grow.

This is my 35th first college class day, and during my time attending and working in universities, I can say with complete honesty that faculty at UAFS have some of the best knowledge and experience of any in the nation. Your faculty members do much more than lecture. They serve as your guides, mentors, and biggest supporters during your time in college, and I know you will feel grateful to learn from their knowledge and experiences.

I want to take a moment to recognize all of the people who have worked tirelessly to engage and support our new students. Professionals in the Offices of Admissions, ROAR First Year Advising Center, Financial Aid, Student Accounts, Housing and Residence Life, Plant Operations, SSC, Chartwells, University Police Department, Campus Activities and Community Engagement, and Student Success and Retention have spent every moment of the summer working for this day to arrive. I appreciate all they did to support you from the point when you first became aware of UAFS to the point where you are sitting in classes today. Our staff are so happy you are here.

As you cross the green between classes, please take time to greet the dedicated staff and student leaders who have spent countless hours this summer to ensure your transition to college is seamless. The Welcome Week events line up is sure to provide something fun for everyone: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner under the bell tower, our iconic Howdy Dance with that coveted light-up cowboy hat, and of course, the much-anticipated faculty and staff vs. students kickball game August 23 from 4-6:30 p.m. at the RAWC (note the new location). All of it is meant to make you feel truly at home at UAFS.

As you get to know your new home, I encourage you to dive into the varied offerings of our campus community. Follow the university calendar and log in to NumaLink to find the dozens of activities we host every week, and explore the hundreds of club and organizations run by our amazing students. Participate, engage, and remember that this is your university.

I am, as always, proud to be your chancellor.

Terisa Riley





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