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I am so pleased to have this opportunity to speak with you today. There is something about the beginning of a semester that always strikes me as hopeful and exciting, and it is a treat to share in hopeful times just as we have shared in the very difficult economic times the Institute, the university, and our state have experienced in the past two years.
We have dealt with budget crises and made some tremendously difficult decisions that are felt personally, as well as professionally. We know it often seems that "bad news" grabs the headlines, yet a tremendous number of good things have happened in the past year, as well, thanks to the talent, enthusiasm, and the professionalism of our faculty, staff, and students.