August 17, 2016
Dear West Virginia University Family:
Learning. Teaching. Discovering. Changing the world.
It all starts today.
From throughout our state, nation, and world we have come together to work smart, to nurture friendships, to rise above challenges and to support each other as we pursue our dreams.
A spirit of renewal makes this a magical time of year. It also reminds us of the pioneering spirit that has always characterized Mountaineers.
I saw that spirit on display this summer in southern West Virginia, where floods devastated the land and claimed lives. Immediately, everyone reached out to help, including our University’s students, faculty, staff and alumni, and those who suffered losses started rebuilding their lives.
From our state’s very creation during the Civil War, when we boldly forged a new identity, Mountaineers have dared to follow unmarked paths.
At West Virginia University, daring helped our community earn a “Research 1” classification. Daring helped our researchers break open the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Daring enabled a Mountaineer journalism graduate to expose human trafficking and earn a Pulitzer Prize. Daring helped Rifle Team member Ginny Thrasher become the first gold-medal winner at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
This year, I hope you will draw upon our spirit of daring to fulfill your own highest goals.
Do not just absorb new facts. Forge innovations.
Do not just appreciate West Virginia’s scenic beauty. Explore it.
Do not just collect new social media contacts. Form real, lifelong friendships.
Our campus is not just a place — it is a family. So immerse yourself fully in our family life.
And whether you are new or a seasoned Mountaineer, make today the start of something big.
E. Gordon Gee
President, West Virginia University