President Schatzel and Provost Perreault shared a message with the TU community to recap the academic year.
Next week, we will celebrate the 9,150 graduates of TU’s classes of 2020 and 2021 with 10 Commencement ceremonies over five days. The graduates will take to the field at Johnny Unitas® Stadium for these in-person events, and they will leave as our newest alumni.
For some, this moment has been delayed for a year. For others, it’s a moment to share across generations as the first members of their family earn a degree. For everyone, it will be a moment that binds us with one common thread: We are all Towson University Tigers, and we are all very proud of our graduates for achieving so very much in a year that has been unlike any other.
As we look toward a more vibrant campus in the fall—one complete with in-person learning, living and working as students, faculty and staff—we can reflect upon a momentous year that continues TU’s growing impact and influence.
This term, TU opened its Science Complex. The largest academic building on campus, it will further TU’s preeminence in STEM research and education for our state as well as nationally.
This summer, we will break ground on the first building dedicated to our College of Health Professions and its faculty, staff and students. Amid a shortage of health care professionals statewide, this state-of-the-art space will provide the requisite resources to support world-class research and degree programs and TU’s role as an anchor institution for greater Baltimore and Maryland.
This summer we will open the newly expanded and renovated University Union, providing contemporary space for our students to gather and participate in club sports, student government, career development and other activities, right in the heart of campus.
But the investment here isn’t just about buildings.
Over the next three fiscal years, TU is investing more than $16.3M in Academic Affairs to expand the resources available for research and scholarly and creative work and to advance TU’s position as a top-100 national public institution. This investment is the first step to prepare TU, under the leadership of Provost Perreault and the deans of the colleges, to explore TU’s aspiration to achieve a Carnegie Classification as an R2–Doctoral University with High Research Activity.
This week, TU was again recognized as one of the leading universities in the nation for inclusive excellence. ACT/NRCCUA, a nationally recognized higher education research center, named Towson University as a top 10 university that is “among the most successful institutions [in America] when it comes to enrolling and graduating traditional-age Black undergraduates.” The ranking further praised Towson University as “one of the largest and most academically successful Black undergraduate populations nationally.”
And just two weeks ago, we announced RISE, The Campaign for Towson University, that will capitalize on TU’s momentum with an historic fundraising goal of $100M. We are already more than halfway to that goal, with a record year of philanthropy closing next month. All these efforts focus on putting students first.
In closing, we cannot express our gratitude enough to everyone for supporting each other and our amazing students during this most challenging year.
We cannot wait to see everyone back on campus in the weeks and months ahead and look forward to a tremendous fall and the opening of the 2021 academic year—the 155th in Towson University’s history.
It is indeed a great time to be a Tiger!
Kim Schatzel, Ph.D.
Melanie Perreault, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs