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Winter 2003


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President’s Perspective

Competitive Metabolism

When Howell Raines became the executive editor of The New York Times, he urged his colleagues to make what many would consider to be the world’s best newspaper even better. The veteran journalist exhorted his colleagues to “raise the competitive metabolism” of the Times. Not long after, his staff responded to a milestone moment, the terrible events of September 11, 2001, with work that would earn an unprecedented seven Pulitzer Prizes. Such excellence when it mattered most was ample proof that the chief executive’s challenge had been taken to heart.

I owe Howell Raines a debt of thanks because I’ve borrowed his phrase — “raising the competitive metabolism” — to describe a mindset that must become second nature as we shape the future of the University of Vermont. Mr. Raines’s words are as apt for Vermont as they were for the Times because they denote a spirit of heightened aspiration, expectation, and action that is not layered upon an organization but infused within it — the sort of commitment that is essential to moving our beloved University forward.

I’m deeply pleased to report evidence that our metabolism is swift. We’ve moved ahead on he purchase of the Trinity College campus, an acquisition that gives us much-needed space for the present and future. We continue to make rapid progress on the establishment of a University-wide Honors College, an initiative that will help us draw more of the very best students and enrich the overall undergraduate academic experience. Further invigorating the intellectual and cultural life of the University, we’ve created a President’s Lecture Series that will bring some of the outstanding minds of our era to campus for public talks and smaller-scale interactions with faculty and students.

As we continue to move ahead, alumni have an essential role in shaping and nurturing our progress. I urge you to tell a great high school student to check us out; to make a gift to the University in recognition of the difference it made in your life; and to reconnect by visiting us at Reunion this spring. Increasingly, my duties take me on the road to spread the word about the great things happening at Vermont, and I look forward to meeting many of you on those travels and to seeing many others here at home. Until then, thank you for your loyal support of the University of Vermont.

— Daniel Mark Fogel

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