This is such a great time to be at UTSA. Last week, the fall semester began with nearly 29,000 students arriving on campus. More than 5,000 of them are freshmen -- the Class of 2019 -- coming to college for the first time. You can feel the energy and excitement all across the university. These students are ready to take on the world.
We're also welcoming 40 new faculty members to UTSA. They come from the nation's best universities including Harvard, Yale, Rutgers and Purdue. They come from top universities across the world including Argentina, China and Italy. These faculty members joined UTSA because they share our passion for excellence and commitment to student success.
This week, Chancellor William McRaven comes to UTSA to sign a memorandum of understanding between the UT System and Mexico's National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT). CONACYT is Mexico's equivalent of the National Science Foundation, and the agreement will foster greater collaboration in academic and research programs with all UT System institutions. UTSA already has a long-standing relationship with CONACYT for research initiatives, economic development and energy studies, and funding of graduate student programs. This collaboration has strengthened UTSA's standing as a world-class research university.
This fall, we will continue working on UTSA's new strategic plan, UTSA 2020 Blueprint, which will guide us over the next five years in our journey to Tier One status as a research institution. The plan emphasizes student success, research and discovery, and community engagement and public service – all pillars of our university. I look forward to sharing more about the plan in the coming days.
Also this fall, we'll wrap up the university's first-ever capital campaign. When we launched it in 2009, our goal was to raise $120 million for undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, endowed faculty positions, research support and more. Community response was overwhelming, and we reached that goal in three years. So we raised the goal to $175 million and, when the final numbers come in shortly, I am confident we will celebrate yet another milestone in the history of UTSA.
Thanks to your support, we are making a world-class education a reality for all of our students and building a top-tier university for San Antonio.
President, The University of Texas at San Antonio