Carnegie Mellon University

June 2018 Edition

June 15, 2018

Greetings from Carnegie Mellon University during one of my favorite times of the year. I am writing to you shortly after 5,600 members of the Class of 2018 joined our alumni community, armed with the tremendous power of a Carnegie Mellon degree. As we celebrate these bright and eager CMU graduates, their joy is truly infectious and reflects the entire community’s passion and excitement for all that lies ahead for this university.

I know that you also share remarkable pride in our newest alumni, as well as this incredible institution. It’s with this in mind that I’m pleased to send you this first edition of the Carnegie Mellon University Ambassador Program. We are launching this initiative to keep our closest supporters better informed about the vital work that goes on here at CMU. Throughout the year, you will receive this exclusive, curated package of our latest news — both the big headlines, as well as interesting stories that illustrate CMU’s rich tapestry of research, creativity and ingenuity.

Whether you serve on a board, volunteer on behalf of the university, or provide philanthropic gifts to our programs, your ongoing advocacy for CMU has an impact. Our request of you is simple: Keep doing what you have been doing in support of Carnegie Mellon. And when you talk to your family, friends and colleagues about CMU, you will now have even more information about all that is happening here.

My wife, Tris, and I have been so appreciative of the outpouring of goodwill following the announcement of my selection as CMU’s 10th president. Since then, we have been thrilled to have the opportunity to interact with so many of you — our alumni, parents and supporters.

The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity for Carnegie Mellon. In April, we completed CMU’s 50th Anniversary tour in Washington, D.C., following stops across the country and around the world. Celebrating our 50th anniversary as a comprehensive research university with more than 10,000 people has been so gratifying — and I know the many faculty who joined us were delighted to speak directly with you about their transformative work.

Now, we are ready to realize our vision for the next 50 years. Carnegie Mellon is poised like no other institution to make a real and lasting impact on a global society that is rapidly changing. With our expertise at the nexus of technology and humanity, and an entrepreneurial culture that thrives on collaboration, the people of CMU are anticipating and solving the world’s greatest challenges.

I’m pleased to report that we are making tremendous strides toward that vision. The first building of the new David A. Tepper Quadrangle is nearing completion, and will officially open this fall. At more than 300,000 square feet, this transformative space will be the new home for the Tepper School of Business and will also serve as a campus hub where all members of our community can come together to collaborate, innovate and learn. Construction has also begun on the new ANSYS Building, the latest expansion of the College of Engineering’s Maker Ecosystem.

We continue to be the world leader in computer science, but also in examining the ethical implications of technology. The School of Computer Science just announced the country’s first undergraduate degree program in artificial intelligence. And Keith Block and Suzanne Kelley’s recent $15 million gift to establish a new center in our Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy will advance research and education at the intersection of technology and society. This groundbreaking initiative will help to help promote more widespread access to the benefits of technological change.

We are making significant investments to enhance the strength of our science programs. For the first time, the Mellon College of Science dean will be supported by an endowed chair thanks to a generous commitment from alumnus Glen de Vries. This gift will allow Dean Rebecca Doerge and her successors to invest in fundamental sciences, in interdisciplinary initiatives, and in faculty and students.

Our commitment to the arts has never been stronger. We are beaming with pride after six CMU alumni from the College of Fine Arts received a record-breaking 12 Tony Award nominations this year. In addition, graduate students in our top-ranked Master of Fine Arts program will have a new home when the university converts an entire floor in the GSIA building into 18 studios and other flexible spaces. This commitment will empower future generations of artists, thinkers, and engaged cultural figures.

And finally, students across the country and around the world are making CMU their top choice. This year, we saw a record-breaking number of applicants for the Class of 2022 — a 19 percent increase over last year. All six undergraduate colleges saw double-digit increases, with a large surge in the number of applicants who are women or people of color. This high quality, diverse student body will add new energy to our campus community this fall.

This selection of recent stories is just a small taste of all the exciting things happening at Carnegie Mellon. Thank you for being a CMU Ambassador, and for everything you do for this university. Tris and I wish you a wonderful summer, and look forward to seeing you on campus or at an event near you in the coming year.


Farnam Jahanian
President and Henry L. Hillman President's Chair