Members of the University Community
I am pleased, Dear Colleagues . . .
. . . to join you in service to The University of Akron. The campus and Greater Akron communities have offered my wife, Theresa, and me a very warm reception and we both appreciate your thoughtfulness.
I have enjoyed meeting many of you, and I look forward to getting to know all of the other members of the campus community in the weeks to come. In particular, I am eager to hear your thoughts and perspectives as we begin to create the context for advancing the obvious promise of The University of Akron.
As we work together boldly toward a common vision, let us remember that there is no limit to what we can accomplish when we are disciplined by ambitious goals and have no need for personal credit. The future strength of this institution lies not in the authority or personality of the president, but in a campus community that works together in a common purpose.
I need your help in all that we do -- and I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for all of us.
With every good wish,
Luis M. Proenza
Northeast Ohio has improved its talent dividend of citizens who hold college degrees. Dr. Proenza emphasized the importance of an educated populace and discussed methods to further improve the region's results.
In his last State of The University address as president of The University of Akron, Dr. Luis Proenza reviews the progress and returns on investments made over the past 15 years, and outlines necessary steps during this academic year to maintain this momentum .
Dr. Proenza advises graduates to no longer identify solely with their majors, but to also regard themselves as critical thinkers, communicators and problem solvers. Doing so, he said, will make the job market a more welcoming place.
Drawing upon his own experiences, Dr. Proenza encourages graduates to continue to seek the magic of learning throughout their careers.
In a lighthearted nod to J.K. Rowling's novels, Dr. Proenza offers graduates a final lesson of "A Defense Against the Dark Arts of Derision, Disrespect and Insult!"
If inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil is correct in his predictions for the near future, "a lifetime of learning" has new meaning for today's graduates.
Dr. Proenza offers graduates in the College of Health Professions a more expansive view of the effects of their work with patients and clients
Employers seek three specific qualities in graduates, and a common element to all is simplicity.
Dr. Proenza reviews the recent history of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, its current status and position for future growth.
Graduates are urged to "lean into the winds of changes and turbulence" in a commencement address on the nature of risk, emotional resiliency and "antifragility."