In April, Liberal Arts and Sciences celebrated alumni, students, faculty, and staff with our first awards ceremony, Evening of Excellence. The ceremony concluded with the presentation of the Civic Champion award given to The Honorable Bob Graham ’59, who has fought for better schools, a healthy environment, economic opportunity, racial and ethnic diversity, and Florida’s natural resources. After eight years as governor, he served 18 years as U.S. senator. He chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee that investigated the events of 9/11, rallied for 9/11 families, and encouraged bipartisanship in Washington. He has represented the nation and UF with distinction, honor, and integrity. At 81, Sen. Graham continues to be a tireless advocate and civil servant. Learn more about him and his UF legacy, the Bob Graham Center for Public Service — which encourages and promotes political involvement and service for all Floridians — in this issue’s cover story.

In October, UF launched a $3 billion campaign, Go Greater, with a campus-wide extravaganza. We will be working diligently over the next five years to raise funds that will benefit our students, faculty, and staff, our college, and the university. One of the major campaign initiatives for Liberal Arts and Sciences is a new program we call Beyond120, which focuses on career readiness for our undergraduates. We want all of our students to be prepared to navigate an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world economy in the 21st century. You can read about this exciting new project here.

We featured the first observation of gravitational waves in the Fall 2016 issue, and the article described the “multi-messenger” potential for combining gravitational-wave detection with telescopic imagery. In this issue, we commend the UF physicists and astronomers who contributed to the first simultaneous detection of a collision of two neutron stars using all these methods, which The Washington Post said is “sparking a new era of astronomy.”

Each issue of Ytori opens with a quote about liberal arts and sciences education. We are particularly pleased to feature Zora Neale Hurston in this issue as her papers are here at the University of Florida. Her quote reminds us that progress comes from curiosity and that we humans are driven by purpose.

Go Gators and Go Greater,

David E. Richardson
Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences