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Community members,

I often say that our success as a university that is focused on advancing Kentucky depends on two things: talent and infrastructure.

In fact, it’s the connection between – and interdependence of – those two things that ensures a university like ours achieves record student success, transforms discoveries and scholarship in the sciences and arts into change and progress for communities and extends healing and hope into every corner of our Commonwealth. 

Over the last several days, as most of us I hope had time for rest and renewal, dozens and dozens of members of our facilities management, athletics, risk management, police department, crisis management, information technology services, communications, housing, residence life, safety and health teams worked around the clock to keep our infrastructure working in the face of bitter, below-zero weather. Officials with our College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and extension offices across the state cared for animals and worked to ensure our outreach in every corner of Kentucky could continue.

These tireless and tenacious community members sacrificed time away from family and loved ones to walk and examine hundreds of buildings across the approximately 20 million square feet that comprise the facility layout of our campus. They repaired leaks and ruptured pipes, busted coils and broken sprinklers. They cleaned up flooding and installed new carpet and tiles.

They worked overtime shifts to ensure buildings were safe and operational as we prepare to return to campus this week and for our students to resume classes on Jan. 9.

They remind us that it takes everybody for UK to advance Kentucky.

As you return to campus let us all take time to personally thank these dedicated members of our UK family who faced the challenges of nature’s wrath so that our mission of education and service, healing and research could continue for our state.

I hope that all of you had time to rest and reflect with family and loved ones during the holiday season. I look forward to your return as we continue the work we do together for our state.

Eli Capilouto