Carnegie Mellon University

November 27, 2019

Dear Members of the CMU Community:

As we head toward the Thanksgiving holiday, I am writing to share a few stories from our community that inspire both gratitude and pride. Once you read them, I think you will agree with me that these stories are distinctly CMU!

  • This past Sunday night, "60 Minutes" on CBS aired a feature story on the groundbreaking brain imagining research of professors Marcel Just in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Tom Mitchell in the School of Computer Science and their collaborators. This piece was a follow-up to a story that "60 Minutes" shared 10 years ago, and highlights the incredible advances that have been made here over the past decade to understand more complex thinking. This work advances our fundamental understanding of the brain, and also holds the potential for innovations in clinical diagnosis and care. I encourage you to take a moment to watch and share this compelling story, which showcases CMU’s leading work at the intersection of neuroscience, cognitive psychology and machine learning.
  • Members of the senior leadership team recently returned from an international trip spanning two continents, including engagements with alumni, parents and students in India, Qatar and Rwanda. I am particularly excited by the event we held in Kigali to celebrate the grand opening of CMU-Africa’s brand new 65,000 square-foot campus facility in Kigali Innovation City, featuring inspiring remarks from CMU-Africa alumni and partners. This College of Engineering program truly embodies the power of education to change lives and catalyze social mobility. I invite you to read the news story from last week, a longer feature from earlier this summer, and to explore the event photo album.
  • Nearly two dozen CMU faculty and alumni recently received nominations for the 2020 GRAMMY Awards. Alumnus Dan Smyers, who graduated from the Tepper School of Business in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in finance, earned his third and fourth GRAMMY nominations as a member of Dan + Shay for Best Country Duo and Best Country Song. This is so CMU! In addition, 20 faculty members who are part of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra were nominated for Best Orchestral Performance, and Gilbert Rose, a School of Music alum, was nominated for Best Opera Recording. The winners will be announced at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26 on CBS.
  • For the first time in history, our women's soccer team is going to the semifinals of the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship. The Tartans are also the first women’s team in Carnegie Mellon history to reach the semifinals of an NCAA tournament. The semifinal game is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 6 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Congratulations! And Go Tartans!
  • And finally, the 26th annual CMU Food Drive, sponsored by Staff Council, raised close to $30K and 6,800 pounds of non-perishable food to support the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, demonstrating our commitment to being a good neighbor.

It is so wonderful to hear such inspiring examples of CMU community members who are achieving personal and professional success and whose work is having widespread impact.

At this time of reflection and gratitude, Tris and I wish you and your loved ones a restful and relaxing Thanksgiving!

Warm regards,

Farnam Jahanian
Henry L. Hillman President’s Chair