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Chancellor Anne Ponder

Chancellor Anne Ponder

As I write this letter, autumn is in full swing here in Asheville. The maples on The Quad have just started showing their brilliant shades of red and orange, while students study, relax and play frisbee all across the Quad—making the most of these very memorable days. It is at these times that I am reminded of how fortunate I am to know these students, because one day soon, they will graduate from UNC Asheville and change the world.

Having returned to my home­town of Asheville just over six years ago, I’ve been able to marvel, first-hand, at the power of the liberal arts, as I see it come to life through the work of our many graduates who’ve helped shape Greater Asheville, Buncombe County and much of Western North Carolina. They are our business leaders, shop owners, artists, green-energy experts, climate specialists, elected officials, inventors, nonprofit directors, and socially responsible mem­bers of the community.

Of course, many UNC Asheville students make their mark even before gradua­tion. In this issue, you’ll see articles about undergraduate researchers racing to save North American bat popula­tions from possible extinction, and testing rooftop runoff to ensure that the water we use for our gardens is safe. Other students are learning the value of sustainable agriculture and sharing it with the community through the ROOTS garden that they—with faculty and staff—have created on campus.

And recently, our Key Center for Community Citizenship and Service Learning began the Community Engaged Scholar program to recognize students who’ve chosen to make giving back part of their education.

This semester also marks the beginning of some key partnerships in the field of medicine for the university. UNC Chapel Hill’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy now offers its doctoral Pharmacy program on our campus. The project aims to address the shortage of pharmacists in Western North Carolina. UNC Asheville and Mission Health System signed a new affilia­tion agreement today, creating the opportunity for expanded collaborations in education, healthy living initiatives and community outreach.

These are only some of our many undertakings that will deepen our students’ intellectual growth while broadening UNC Asheville’s contribution to the vibrant community that we share with Greater Asheville.
—CHANCELLOR ANNE PONDER

"It is at these times that I am reminded of how fortunate I am to
know these students, because one day soon, they will graduate from UNC Asheville and change the world."

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