Thank you, Dr. Proenza


Proenza farewell

“And so to you my colleagues, when you find yourselves, as I do now, at a turning point in your career, recall the phoenix that graces the seal of our University, and do not see in your transition the last glimmer of past endeavors, but the creative sparks that will ignite new chapters in your lives.”

Dr. Luis M. Proenza, fromTemporary Endings & Permanent Beginnings,” delivered April 8 for the Last Lecture Series sponsored by Mortar Board Senior Honorary.

TODAY IS Dr. Luis M. Proenza’s last day as president of The University of Akron. As we look back on his 15-year tenure as its steward, there is only one word to describe this time in the institution’s history —  transformational.

The campus, the exciting research conducted by faculty, the many community and businesses partnerships, our students’ success in and out of the classroom, and the University’s heightened national profile have all grown during Dr. Proenza’s years of leadership.

Of the many initiatives Dr. Proenza led during his years at UA, none has had a greater impact for generations of students than the New Landscape for Learning. Since its launch in 2000, UA has added 22 buildings, completed 18 major additions, acquisitions and renovations, and created 34 acres of green space. The physical transformation of an institution founded in 1870 has created a Landscape for Learning well-suited to our 21st century students and the professors who guide them.

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In looking to the role of higher education in this new century, Dr. Proenza said it “must innovate for a better future.” To propel The University of Akron forward, a New Gold Standard of university performance was established. The three strategies identified to reach that better future — relevance, connectivity and productivity — are now at the heart of everything done at The University of Akron.

Dr. Proenza, we wish you “fair winds and following seas” as you begin your next chapter.



Music: Joe Augustine, "Remembering You"

Proenza farewell

Dr. Proenza greets a well wisher during a reception earlier this month.

Proenza farewell

Dr. Proenza and his wife Theresa at a community reception.

Proenza farewell

Dr. Proenza with Richard W. Pogue, chair of the University's Board of Trustees.

Proenza farewell

The Honorable Randolph Baxter, retired federal judge and president of UA's National Alumni Board, speaks on behalf of alumni during a community reception in Dr. Proenza's honor.