The early days of UMBC were exciting from a student learning standpoint. We were gifted with faculty from some of the best programs in the country. For the most part, the faculty were all relatively new and strived collectively to make UMBC a very special place. Some wanted to call us the Berkeley of the East or the Harvard of the South. Thus, the bar was set high and the journey began to help make UMBC the University that it is today. The student body included a large amount of first generation university students. Although the courses were challenging, the faculty were available to provide much needed support. I have seen some of these professors leave to pursue other opportunities and witnessed more than a few retirements. I would be remiss if I failed to thank these exceptional faculty for their vision in setting a good course for the University and for the challenges and support in helping to develop the minds and character of their students.