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Saturday, January 22, 2022
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President Tripathi delivers his 10th annual State of the University Address

Address touched on COVID-19, renovations, climate and fundraising goals

President Satish Tripathi gave his annual State of the University address on Friday at Alumni Arena.
President Satish Tripathi gave his annual State of the University address on Friday at Alumni Arena.

UB President Satish Tripathi delivered his 10th annual State of the University Address Friday morning in Slee Hall.

While much of the address focused on the university’s efforts to research and combat COVID-19, Tripathi also talked about new goals and projects, including the renovation of Lockwood Library and the opening of One World Café.

“As a public space institution, our physical environment must support this idea of scholarly and professional excellence,” Tripathi, sporting a black suit and UB-themed tie, said. “To that end, we are enhancing Lockwood Library on the North Campus and expect to open One World Café this spring.”

The area of Lockwood formerly known as the “Cybrary” is being renovated and renamed, “UBIT: Level Up.” The new space will still provide  printer and computer access but will now feature “softer lighting, touchless-entry doors and an elevator that exits to the corridor,” according to UBNow. The new computers will be used by the UB e-sports team.

One World Café, which has been under  construction since fall 2019, is connected to Capen Hall and is expected to “meet the demand for expanded dining facilities among a growing campus population” and ”present authentically prepared foods from around the world,” according to the university.

One World Café isn’t the university’s only physical project.

“At our Downtown Biomedical Campus, we have built a business incubator within our Center of Excellence for Bioinformatics Life Sciences,” Tripathi said. 

The business incubator gives aspiring entrepreneurs access to business expertise and affordable spaces for start-ups, Tripathi said.

Tripathi also drew attention to UB’s ongoing fight against climate change.

“With the installation of our solar panel arrays nearly complete, we will be producing 2.9 million kilowatt hours in our first year,” Tripathi said. “This is the equivalent to offsetting the energy use of nearly 500 homes a year.”

Tripathi went on to cite The Times World University Rankings, which placed UB  No. 1 in the world for impact on climate change. Tripathi noted UB has cut down on its carbon emissions by 33% since 2018 and is seeking to be carbon-neutral by 2030.

Tripathi ended his speech by addressing the Boldly Buffalo campaign, a broad fundraising effort started by the university to act as a “roadmap to the future.” UB raised the goal for this campaign from $650 million to $1 billion.

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“It is critical that we continue to propel UB forward because now more than ever the public research university is being called upon to solve the most complex issues of our time,” Tripathi said. “And we know with the support of our donors, alumni and friends, we can set our sights even higher still. …$1 billion is a bold goal, but it is an achievable goal,” Tripathi said. “And I am pleased to share that today, nearly $797 million has been donated to our campaign.”

The campaign’s goals include “keeping high-quality UB education accessible to all” and “raising funds for student support, faculty research and innovative programs that benefit the world,” according to the campaign’s website. The Boldly Buffalo campaign says the funds raised have expanded the university’s role as a leader in interdisciplinary education, amplified diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and helped to revitalize the Buffalo art scene.

“It will not be for our own self-interest,” Tripathi said. “It will be [in] the interest of our students. It will be in the interest of improving the quality of life for all people in our community and in our world.”

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