Dear students,Welcome back to campus following what I hope was a restful holiday break filled with joy and anticipation for the New Year. The year 2012 promises to be an exciting one for Georgia State University.
It has been more than three years since our state and nation experienced the downward path into the worst recession since the Great Depression, and recovery has been a long, slow road to travel. However, we are now seeing signs of improvement in Georgia, including strengthening state revenue trends. Last evening, Governor Nathan Deal delivered his State of the State address before the Georgia General Assembly, and therein he emphasized that in setting the path for future prosperity in Georgia we must follow “the star of education.” The Governor outlined his proposals for charting the future course of Georgia, and in doing so he expressed confidence in the University System of Georgia (USG) and committed to essential support for USG. The legislative session is just beginning, but all of us should be encouraged by an improving economic environment that has made it possible for Governor Deal to propose a state budget for Fiscal Year 2013 that includes significantly increased funding for public higher education.
As we begin a new semester, I encourage you to take part in the many and varied cultural, athletic and other enriching programs and services GSU offers this time of year. First, I invite you to join me tomorrow evening (Thursday, Jan. 12) at the GSU men’s basketball game against UNC Wilmington as Head Coach Ron Hunter will go barefoot in support of Samaritan’s Feet, an organization that provides shoes for underprivileged children around the world. Coach Hunter and the team are off to a great start this season, and tomorrow evening promises to be extra special as our GSU community comes together to support Samaritan’s Feet, and the Panthers. The game is at 7 p.m. in the Sports Arena, and ticket information is available here. A strong turnout is anticipated, so fans are encouraged to buy tickets in advance and arrive well before game time.
Later this month, as the nation marks the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the GSU community will celebrate his life and legacy at the 29th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation. GSU is honored to have internationally acclaimed journalist and documentary film producer Lisa Ling as our keynote speaker. In addition, the 2012 MLK Torch of Peace and Hosea Williams Award recipients will be recognized at this event, which will be held Tuesday, January 24, at 3 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom.
In closing, I hope you have a stimulating and productive spring semester.
Mark P. Becker