What a year it has been!
One year ago today, I became a Niner. Over the course of the past year I met so many of you through my computer screen. I wasn’t sure what the next 12 months would bring as we navigated a pandemic and a predominantly virtual learning and working environment. However, I was sure about the passion and dedication of the community I joined. And I was right!
Every member of Niner Nation played a role in ensuring we didn’t just make it through the past year, we excelled -- hitting milestones and achieving success at every turn.
Working together, our faculty, staff and students kept our University open and healthy with a COVID-19 infection rate that was consistently below the county’s.
We crossed the 30,000 student enrollment threshold, including our largest graduate class in University history. Our first interim chief diversity officer joined us and a national search is underway for the permanent position. We generated $52 million in new research awards and doubled our research expenditures over the past five years.
The UNC Charlotte Marriott Hotel and Conference Center opened, and students began classes at Niner University Elementary at Amay James.
And thanks to your generosity, we raised a record-breaking $38 million and had our most successful Niner Nation Gives campaign in University history. Your gifts will continue to support our students, our research and our impact in the community.
These are just a few of the highlights from the past year. I hope you will watch our year-in-review video or spend some time on our annual report website for a fuller picture of the incredible past 365 days.
As we embark on a new year with a new strategic plan and rebranding effort, I know Niner Nation’s future is bright because of the people who support and are part of this community. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Sharon L. Gaber