Dear accepted students, parents, friends and family, welcome to your virtual visit to one of the most unique and remarkable learning and research institutions in the world, The College of Environmental Science and Forestry. I join you today from one of our many incredible assets, the Hieberg Memorial Forest just 25 minutes south of our main campus. Beautiful isn't it!
ESF is one of the few colleges in the country entirely focused on all things environment and sustainability with a mission that is embraced throughout all levels of the organization "Improve Your World". At ESF we practice what we preach, literally, classroom learning does not end in the classroom but extends into our 25,000 acres of forest properties maintained year-round as learning and research platforms, a unique laboratory where our students practice the skills and knowledge they will need for real world jobs. Our students come to us, in fact you come to us, with a passion and commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability. It is our job to turn that passion into a purpose with the means to make a difference. We achieve this through supporting a world class faculty, all of whom are experts in their fields, with highly honed teaching skills and active research programs that put our students on the frontline of finding new solutions to our vexing environmental challenges. At ESF we train life-long learners that are highly competitive to enter the environmental work force, many of our programs have near 100% job placement rates in their chosen fields.
If you chose to join us, and you should, you will join a family, the ESF family. Our college has a small campus feel with the big campus advantage of a strong traditional connection to Syracuse University. We have just completed negotiating a new 5 year contract with SU preserving our students access to their recreational facilities, curriculum, clubs, sports, dining facilities, and disability services.
The best part of my job as president is to brag about our college's achievements. A few recent accolades ESF has received include: #1 in the country for enrolling and graduating women engineers, this year we moved from 46th to 38th best educational value in the country-just to say there are no other SUNY schools in the top 50, and we are currently rated #2 greenist school in the country.
If you ask anyone on campus from the president, to the faculty, the staff all the way to the maintenance crews, "what is the best thing about ESF", they will all say, I will say, it is our students. Our students are smart, dedicated, they have a strong work ethic, and are completely focused on making a difference with their lives and careers, they embody and embrace the ESF mantra To Improve Your World.
As you know, we are living through challenging times but I know ESF will come through this even stronger. We are committed to returning to a normal campus life and teaching modalities this coming fall. For many reasons some may prefer to receive college instruction on line and we do have very high quality on line programs but we recognize our kind of students, the ESF student, wants to get their hands dirty and experience learning first hand. Hope to see you in the fall.