For much of our history, especially over the past two decades, the University of Pittsburgh has worked to attract more and more highly qualified students and faculty and to enhance academic, research, and student life programs.
We've continued to enrich our connection with alumni and expand our partnerships with communities, government, industry, and entrepreneurs. And our sphere of engagement is global and growing.
Today, we are not becoming a leading university—we are one. We must put our hard-earned excellence into action to make a difference.
Our strategic plan does this through essential goals that define our aspirations: advancing educational excellence; promoting a culture that values diversity; partnering for strong, vital communities; strengthening our institutional foundation; and engaging in research that has real impact.
This look back on academic year 2015-16 (FY16) shows that we're making terrific progress. It has been an amazing year.
Our budget stalemate ended with an increase in state-related University funding. This remarkable result was certainly thanks to our elected leaders who supported more funding for state-related universities. It was also due, in no small part, to advocacy efforts by our community.
We saw the incredible success of our Year of Humanities—a yearlong celebration of humanistic thinking in all disciplines.
Our early progress navigating the complex, emotionally charged topic of sexual assault prevention won the appreciation and support of Vice President Joe Biden, who led an awareness rally at our Petersen Events Center in April.
In athletics, we saw a football star conquer cancer, a first-ever NCAA diving champion, a Major League Baseball first-round draft pick, a gymnastics team championship, and the official return of our beloved script Pitt.
It's clear that we have a solid foundation in place, and it's so solid, in fact, that we're not just aiming to maintain excellence here, we're translating that excellence into action. We're reimagining how we learn, teach, discover, and grow, and we're envisioning a bigger and brighter future, courtesy of our strategic plan.
This is excellence in action.
And it's happening, right here, at the University of Pittsburgh.