UO President Michael Gottfredson’s prepared remarks for the Global Scholars Hall grand opening
Thank you, Professor Davis, and thanks to all of you who have helped to shape this wonderful building and our beautiful campus. Predicting the future is something I generally try to avoid, but I will say that I've had some success with it. Just recently, I predicted that the magnificent fall weather wouldn't last forever. Guess what? Well, I'll also predict that the rain won't last – not forever, anyway. It may just seem that way.
The future of the University of Oregon – the look of its campus, and the opportunities that are offered here – may well be on display right here in this building. Many of those who have been engaged in planning for the university's evolution over the next 10 or 20 or 50 years from now believe they're seeing glimpses of the future inside the walls of the Global Scholars Hall.
Vice President Holmes and her Division of Student Affairs have taken a leadership role in making our campus a model for residential universities everywhere. The vision they have provided – in which students, faculty and the community interact on campus 24-hours per day – has a tangible result, in this building.
Professor Davis lives among students in this new residence hall. It has its own library – and librarian. Its five classrooms are booked solid – this is truly a blend of campus residence and academics. It also provides a conceptual blueprint for the additional residence halls we hope to build sooner-than-later at the UO, and for the existing residence halls that are in line for renovation.
Academics should have a role in every aspect of a student's life, and the residents of this building are enjoying that advantage right now. Whether they are attending classes here, studying in the library or study rooms, or conversing in any of five immersive languages, students in the Global Scholars Hall are living the academic dream of this university.
To say we have an interesting mix here is an understatement. It is also by design. Collaboration is what makes this place work – students from the Honors College or the College Scholars program sharing ideas those who are immersing themselves in the languages of the world. Or faculty from various departments working together to offer academics that make sense in this age of multidisciplinary thinking and reasoning. This building really is a reflection of the exceptional faculty, staff and students who give it life.
And the building itself – have you seen inside yet? If someone in there says, "The writing is on the wall," they mean it literally. The walls in the library commons are white boards. The FreshMarket Café is an exceptional food court, where the emphasis is on healthy and delicious meals. There's even a demonstration kitchen, where international students, for instance, can share a little of their culinary culture.
All of this was made possible by the tremendous support we enjoy from our alumni and other friends, from the community and from a legislative delegation that truly understands the value this university represents. The bonus is that all of this came together at the most opportune time possible – at a time our students needed space, and our community needed construction jobs. Thank you for believing in this vision of the future, and for investing in the students who will become the stewards of our community and the world.