Presidents give their first State of the University address

By Chase Sanders

UK President Eli Capilouto and Student Government President Micah Fielden gave their first State of the University address Monday.

Fielden stressed that it will take teamwork for continued success at UK.

“As students we must realize that it is no single person’s responsibility to help us have a fulfilling experience during our time here,” he said. “Rather, we must work hand-in hand with our faculty to make our experience a success.”

The two met on a BMW test track in South Carolina, while Capilouto maneuvered cars on the course.

Fielden said that was when he knew Capilouto “could relate to students and understood their best interests” and was the right man for the job.

During his speech, Fielden also asked the president not forget the characteristics he possesses that led to his hiring.

“I ask that you continue to act in the best interests of the students at UK,” he said.

Fielden also mentioned how proud he was of the 1,500 students who participated in service projects like UK Fusion.

“This shows that at UK people care,” he said.

He also hopes to continue to build an atmosphere at UK where students are aware about the international community.

He commended students who went to Haiti to aid in establishing coffee farms for economic rejuvenation last school year.

“It is an example of things being done by UK students to service a society that extends far beyond own at home,” Fielden said.

UK will continue to support Haiti by selling Haitian coffee from those coffee farms that were established there last year.

UK is also now home to two students from Haiti, who have the chance to experience the academic resources the school has to offer.

They will take their knowledge back to Haiti with them to help in the effort to rebuild their homeland.

“Micah, your words are compelling,” Capilouto said, “but your actions are even better.”

Capilouto challenged the teachers and staff to form better curriculum for more advanced students.

He said that this year, UK’s freshman class is “the most accomplished incoming freshman class ever.”

He also challenged students to reach their goals.

“At UK we want to help you unleash your greatest potential,” Capilouto said.

Dr. Robert Mock, vice president for UK Student Affairs, appreciated Capilouto’s message.

“He spoke about UK’s history, and how it’s important that we maintain it and continue it. I think that’s important.”

Steven Bilas, student government chief of staff, also thought both presidents spoke well.

“I was really excited to hear what they had to say,” Bilas said. “They are both humble and approachable characters for UK.”