Dear Faculty and Staff:

Last week we analyzed the UofM graduation numbers and rates since 2000, revealing consistent and steady improvement over the past decade. From 2000-2003, the average annual number of graduates was 3,125. From 2008-2010, the annual average improved 16% to 3,631. Over the past three years we have experienced record numbers, with each year exceeding 4,000. From 2014-2016, the average annual number of graduates has reached 4,229, a 16% increase over the previous three-year average from 2008-2010. As you might agree, that's remarkable progress over the past decade and a half. We still have some work to do to reach our goal of a graduation rate well above the national average, but we are making excellent progress. At the heart of our mission is not only maintaining access to an affordable, high-quality, comprehensive college experience for our students, but also making sure our students are successful in finishing what they have started and launching a commitment to lifelong learning. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our students and community. The evidence indicates your efforts are paying off, helping to develop students prepared to contribute fully to a democratic society and shape the lives of thousands of students and families.

I also want to share our success with private fundraising for the University of Memphis. As you know, last year we set a record with $36,774,472 raised. This year, our team surpassed that with a total of $38,536,048 raised. I want to thank our Chief Development Officer Bobby Prince and his team for an exceptional job, with two consecutive record years. Needless to say, their efforts have profound impact on our university, community and the lives of many, many students.

Thank you again for all you do for the University of Memphis and our community. I hope the summer months are going well, and I look forward to the start of another academic year in late August.

M. David Rudd
President | Distinguished University Professor