A look back at 2011

by President Catanese

As we wrap 2011, please share my pride in our numerous accomplishments. What a year it was. I would like to recap some of the many highlights of a most successful year.

We started out big by opening the Panther Dining Hall and new parking deck. And in winter our volunteerism was in full force as we helped with TV’s Extreme Makeover house.

In spring our concrete canoe team took first place in the regionals and later, the student’s hybrid rocket earned a first-place award. Also, this fall the precision flight team’s performance has advanced Florida Tech to the nationals.

In sports, the Panthers won their first round at the Henley Regatta and our women’s soccer team spent some golden time as the top-ranked national Division II team.

Summer was very exciting with the dedication of the Panther Aquatic Center and hiring of our first football coach. We also welcomed our first football recruiting class and held our first football summer camp. The Brevard—now Foosaner—Art Museum came under our wing with the support of a $1 million gift.

Another big gift, a $2.5 million pledge, started the ball rolling for a new building for the School of Psychology.

At least two new endowments were established—early in the year Juanita Baker funded one in psychology science for WFIT and very recently alumni Ross Bagtzoglou initiated another for water resource studies.

In fall we not only stood firm in U.S. News & World Report’s top tier, but U.S. News also named us in the Top 10 for student internships.

We hosted some important conferences like the Homeland Security Cyber Forum and won some prestigious national awards, like the Harris Institute’s National Center of Academic Excellence Award from the National Security Agency.

Led by Dean Winston Scott, we joined in the Fireball Run to find missing children and our efforts paid off with two children being returned to Florida.

In academic program news, we began a new minor in textiles, a new biomedical engineering degree, a new Ph.D. in human centered design and a new online degree in human factors in aeronautics.

The new research awards are too numerous to mention, but many came from major funders such as the National Science Foundation, Department of the Interior and the Office of Naval Research.

As Frank Sinatra said in his song, “It was a very good year.” I wish you a very happy, peaceful holiday break and I’ll see you in 2012 so we can begin again!

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