Every March, ASU stops to celebrate Founders' Day, an acknowledgement of the people, actions and accomplishments that created the university we know today. Hosted by the ASU Alumni Association, Founders' Day gives us an important opportunity to reflect on the evolution of our institution and to give special recognition to the alumni, faculty and supporters who are exemplars of the Sun Devil spirit and whose dedicated efforts are adding to ASU's ever-growing tradition of excellence.
On March 16, I joined 800 members of our extended ASU family for this year's Founders' Day dinner and awards. In addition to honoring two of our most outstanding alumni in Michael Burns, vice chairman of Lionsgate Films, and Jack Furst, founder of Oak Stream Investors, we thanked the following faculty members for their respective research, service and teaching contributions to ASU:
- Joshua LaBaer, Interim Executive Director, Biodesign Institute at ASU
- Manfred Laubichler, President's Professor, School of Life Sciences
- Sharon Hall, Senior Sustainability Scientist and Associate Professor, Global Institute of Sustainability
ASU's ongoing success is fueled by the collective vision, creativity and dedication of leaders like these, and their stories left us all feeling newly inspired.
I closed the night with remarks crafted to serve as an imagined "progress report" of sorts to ASU's founders. Starting with a look at ASU's very first Founders' Day event in 1960 and highlighting our significant advancement in terms of excellence, access and impact, I relayed a sampling of ASU's most unique accomplishments. I am deeply proud of what has been attained and have unwavering faith in the tremendous things to come. ASU has always been a well of unlimited talent and we're only getting started.