I realized yesterday the campus is ALIVE again. It was freshmen move-in day. Today the upperclassmen start coming back, and opening weekend really kicks off. It also reminded me that it was 8 years ago that I started at UAlbany. That means that I’ve been at UAlbany since the current freshmen were in the 4th grade. As they went through middle school, junior high, and high school, I’ve been here. At the greatest University on the planet.

Why is UAlbany the greatest? Well, I’ve been here, as a student, for 8 years. So it must be good, right? Why else would I stay here?! But it is more than that. I’ll admit I used to be skeptical of the “World Within Reach” tagline. Since high school I’ve always been partial to RPI’s “Why not change the world?” and I really like Maria College’s “Start here. Go anywhere.” But “World Within Reach” combines the two and is growing on me.

Think about it. With a business education from UAlbany you can start the next great Greek Yogurt company. With a criminal justice degree you could become head of the NYS Police and a international expert in crime. You could be a critic or columnist with the New York Times. A star NFL player. Pulitzer prize winning author. An inspirational activist with a movie about your life. A federal judge. An IBM fellow.

How do I know that? Because for the past 160+ years UAlbany alumni have been doing these things. There’s nothing that you can’t do, can’t accomplish, can’t get to, with a UAlbany degree. The world really is within reach- anything you want, it is yours for the taking.

Furthermore, this is an unprecedented time for students. Times are tough, and money is short for families. It is hard to spend thousands of dollars on education. And times are tough for colleges too. They’re strapped for cash too, but they know they need to really deliver for students. I don’t think there has been a time where the University at Albany has been more dedicated to delivering a quality, affordable educational experience. 45 NEW faculty this year (hired, not fired!) New dorms, new academic buildings, updated classrooms, new athletic fields (for students, not just D1 athletes!)

So honestly, new students, welcome. You’re in for a treat. The University is at your service. Take advantage of everything she has to offer and reap the rewards. Get involved, talk to your professors, study hard, and you can follow your dreams. And someday, maybe eight years down the road, you’ll look back and realize what a great experience you had and welcome the next generation of UAlbany students.

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