First let me say how moved I was by the inaugural ceremony yesterday. It is an honor to lead an institution that has such devoted faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. I look forward to working with all of you to advance the initiatives I outlined in my remarks, as well as achieve our broader goals in the areas of teaching, research and service.
Because service is an important part of KU's mission, we integrated a Semester of Service into the inaugural festivities. We called upon Jayhawks and members of the broader community to volunteer their time to worthy causes throughout the area, setting a goal of 100,000 hours volunteered.
I am happy to say that, thanks to you, we have exceeded that lofty goal.
Looking through the list of volunteer activities shows just how involved Jayhawks are in the communities that are home to our campuses. Individuals donated their time to community organizations and churches, and groups put on benefits to raise money for a wide range of charities.
I want to thank everyone who took part in the Semester of Service. I also want to let you know that it is never too late to get involved. We now have a group called KU Advocates to help coordinate our university's involvement in the community. Contact Linda Luckey at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Of course, since service is part of KU's mission, our faculty, staff and students are serving communities as part of their daily work. And for the third year in a row, some of that work is being highlighted in a publication called KU Works for Kansas, which has been distributed statewide.
As you'll see from its stories, we serve Kansas in countless ways - from helping small business owners transition their businesses to the next generation, to helping children and families live healthier lives.
All of the service efforts highlighted, and the many more that are taking place throughout the state, are examples of how Kansas benefits from being home to a world-class research university.
We should all be proud to be a part of such a university, and proud of the service we provide - as teachers, mentors and researchers, and as active members of our communities.