The Star Keeps Rising
President Denise M. Trauth
August 25, 2017
Good morning! I hope that you all enjoyed a pleasant summer and that you had at least some time to relax.
We had an interesting year – this past year – which had its share of both milestones and challenges, but one that we believe makes our university stronger. In a few minutes, I will recap the highlights and share with you what is on the horizon for Texas State.
But first, as has been our tradition at convocation, I first want to recognize our many outstanding faculty and staff. It is their commitment to excellence that sets our standard for achievement. And it is your collective efforts that make this a truly amazing university.
Each year, The Texas State University System Board of Regents honors professors whose performance and contributions to the educational community have been outstanding. And this year, Texas State is proud to have two of our faculty members named Regents’ Professor by the Board of Regents.
Our first new Regents’ Professor is Dennis Dunn, University Distinguished Professor and professor in the Department of History.
Our second new Regents’ Professor is Dittmar Hahn, University Distinguished Professor, Chair of and professor in the Department of Biology.
This morning, we also are recognizing two University Distinguished Professors whose careers in teaching, research, and service have been exemplary and recognized at the state, national, and international levels. Please help me congratulate our new University Distinguished Professors: Gary Beall, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Nico Schüler, professor in the School of Music.
For their years of outstanding teaching, research, and service at Texas State, four retired faculty members have been named Distinguished Professors Emeriti, and we recognize them today. Our honorees here with us are: Frank de la Teja, Regents’ Professor and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History; and Robert Fischer, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Modern Languages. Two other honorees, Brock Brown, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geography; and Joycelyn Pollock, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Criminal Justice, could not be with us today.
Each year, we recognize one faculty member with the Presidential Seminar Award. Recipients then share their research or creative activity with their peers. The 2017 honoree is being recognized for her superlative research, scholarship, and current contributions to her discipline.
The next Presidential Seminar will be presented by Paige Haber-Curran, assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education, and School Psychology.
This year’s Presidential Awards for Excellence in Teaching go to three individuals who are passionate about their fields and convey that excitement to their students. Please join me in honoring: Audrey McKinney, associate professor in the Department of Philosophy; Jennifer Buschhorn, assistant professor of practice in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication; and Dale Blasingame, senior lecturer in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
We also are honoring two faculty members this morning for their scholarly activities. Both have made significant contributions to their disciplines and to the intellectual life of the university. They are examples of Texas State’s commitment to research, scholarship, and creative activity as part of the teaching and learning experience. We are pleased to present the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activities to: Todd Hudnall, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Paige Haber-Curran, assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education, and School Psychology.
We also ask our faculty to serve, as well as to teach and conduct research. The Presidential Award for Excellence in Service is given to faculty who exemplify our commitment to public service as a responsibility to our university, our professional fields, and our community. Please join me as we honor:
Maria Czyzewska, professor in the Department of Psychology; and Joanna Ellis, clinical assistant professor in the program in Clinical Laboratory Science.
Ernie Dominguez, president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, will help make our next presentation.
Each year the Alumni Association recognizes an outstanding teacher with its Teaching Award of Honor.
Today’s honoree is an associate professor in the Department of History. He is a Texas State alumnus who has received numerous teaching and service awards, including commendations and recognition from the U.S. Air Force and the federal government. On behalf of our alumni, we present this Teaching Award of Honor to Ronald Johnson.
Our Faculty Senate chooses from among its colleagues recipients of the Everette Swinney Faculty Senate Excellence in Teaching Awards. I would like Alex White, chair of the Faculty Senate and associate professor in the Department of Mathematics to come forward to present with me this year’s award.
Everette Swinney Award recipients are chosen on the basis of their dedication to the teaching profession, their influence on the lives of students, and their contributions to the university as a whole.
They have combined their commitment to teaching with strong records of creative achievement, service, and mentoring peers and students. These awards are named for a beloved deceased faculty member and longtime chair of the Faculty Senate. With great pleasure, we present these Everette Swinney Faculty Senate Excellence in Teaching Awards to: Steven Beebe, Regents’ Professor and University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Communication Studies; Harvey Ginsburg, professor in the Department of Psychology; and Rodney Rohde, chair of and professor in the program in Clinical Laboratory Science.
Today we also honor one staff member, one faculty member, and a team for dedication to the pursuit and celebration of inclusion and diversity. Recipients of the Excellence in Diversity Award are: Ana Carrillo Baer, associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance; Jesse Silva, assistant director in the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion. And for our team award, today we are recognizing two individuals. Our team honorees are: Joshua Love, student development specialist in the Office of Disability Services; and Jessica Soukup, systems analyst for the Vice President for Student Affairs.
We want to introduce this year’s winners of the Mariel Muir Excellence in Mentoring Award. Each year we honor a faculty member and a staff member for mentoring our students and employees. We are proud to recognize this morning: Harvey Ginsburg, professor in the Department of Psychology; and
Toni Moreno, grant director for Rural Talent Search in the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion.
And finally, we want to include in our introductions this morning the 2017 Employee of the Year. She was chosen from among the 12 Employees of the Month. Please help us congratulate Michelle Aguilar, senior administrative assistant in the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion.
Let’s give all of these outstanding faculty and staff members one more round of applause.
Again, I hope you had a pleasant summer.
Two of the highlights of our summer were the trips John and I took to Mexico and Spain to bolster our relationships with academic and cultural institutions and with corporations allied with our university’s strengths. And guess what? It happened again – we were in the small village of Montsurrat, Spain, a village tucked into the mountainside about an hour up and away from Barcelona. I, of course, was carrying a Texas State bag, and as we were at a lookout enjoying the view, a young man walked by and yelled, “Go Bobcats!” As it turns out, he is an alumnus who lives in Austin.
You may recall that last summer, we met an alumnus on a train platform in Toulouse, France, and John and I have encountered alumni in other parts of Europe, in the Bahamas, and all over the U.S. Bobcats are everywhere!
We traveled to Cuenca, Spain in early July to sign an agreement with the Universidad de Castilla – La Mancha, commonly called UCLM. This agreement will facilitate student and faculty exchanges, student internships, and collaborative research projects, notably with our Department of Finance and Economics, the Department of History, the Department of Modern Languages, and the School of Art and Design.
In June, I had the pleasure of leading a delegation to Mexico City to meet with Mexican government and academic officials, U.S. Embassy representatives, and leaders of industry and major cultural institutions.
Our goal was to reaffirm existing partnerships in Mexico and establish new strategic relationships — and the trip was every bit as productive as intended. Elevating these Mexican partnerships will expand Texas State’s research capabilities in areas such as water and the environment, food safety and nutrition, public safety, and cybersecurity.
In addition, we are energized by the potential for collaboration in arts and culture with our friends in Mexico. Texas State’s Wittliff Collections have one of the world’s largest archives of modern and contemporary photographs taken by Mexican nationals, and we believe there are extraordinary opportunities for the sharing of artistic resources on both sides of the border.
We also used the occasion to establish the first international chapter of the Texas State Alumni Association. We have identified more than 90 Texas State alumni living in and around Mexico City, and almost half attended our alumni reception.
We see these tremendous opportunities in Mexico and Spain as part of our mission to enrich the educational experience for students and faculty.
For many of you, and certainly for me, last year was very challenging. The forces and the voices that were unleashed in the wake of the presidential election were unlike anything that we had encountered in past years. I am pleased that our students, faculty and staff felt empowered to exercise their First Amendment rights. I am sorry that sometimes they had to exercise those rights in response to hateful, derisive speech.
But through it all I believe we preserved our sense of community. We learned that we treasure our ability to engage in dialogue about difficult subjects; that we want an inclusive and supportive environment for all members of our university community. And even if it leads to a tumultuous university climate for a period of time, I believe this kind of diversity of thought is healthy.
A university ought to be a place where ideas are expressed and debated; where minds are changed; where an opinion some consider offensive is protected; where faculty members know that they will be supported, especially when they present ideas and information that are unpopular; where staff and faculty are on the front line leading courageous conversations with students and peers; and where students are led into intellectually unfamiliar and, at times uncomfortable, territory. But diversity of thought should never be used as a way to protect bigotry and hate.
So let me comment on the tragic events of two weeks ago in Charlottesville, Virginia, and on the campus of the University of Virginia, to make sure that what I have just said won’t be misinterpreted. Diversity and inclusion, and the diversity of thought that flows from being inclusive, are important values at Texas State and have been for a long time.
But let’s be clear. Holding the values of inclusion and diversity of thought does not rationally lead to the conclusion that bigotry and hatred should be endured. Intolerance that promotes hatred and seeks violence against any racial, ethnic, or religious group – or against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity – has no moral basis and destroys the common good. Bigotry and hate have no place at Texas State. Inclusion, by contrast, has a moral basis and fosters the common good.
During the two weeks since the violence in Charlottesville, the term “freedom of expression” has been hijacked by white supremacists as a way to seek protection not just for despicable language but also for violent behavior. Nothing – not the First Amendment, not the value of diversity of thought – justifies either the violence itself or the fighting words intended to provoke violence used by these protesters.
In all likelihood, during the upcoming year many universities, including ours, will continue to experience a climate of unrest.
As we start our new semester, I am asking each of you to recommit to our core values. Strive to keep Texas State a place where people care for one another, where the university stays united even in times of disruption, where we dialogue respectfully with each other, and where we don’t let outside forces define who we are as a university community.
Notwithstanding the challenging backdrop of the last year, we accomplished amazing things. Let me elaborate on 10 of them.
Number 1. We were named one of America’s Best Employers by Forbes magazine – one of only 60 educational institutions in America to receive this honor.
Number 2. We collaboratively created a University Plan that will guide our evolution from 2017-2023 and a University Master Plan for 2017-2027. The University Plan identifies new academic programs, outlines the support structures behind them and lays out the road map for our journey to become a national research university.
As I utter the words “national research university,” I want to make sure that you understand that I am not just talking about faculty engaged in research and creative activities, or the education of graduate students. All great research universities have great undergraduate student populations – talented young people who have worked hard to be admitted to a challenging and rewarding college experience.
The University Master Plan is a blueprint that will guide us as we add new buildings, renovate existing ones, and strategically utilize every square foot of our San Marcos Campus, our Round Rock Campus and our Science, Technology, and Advanced Research or STAR Park. This fall we will hold town hall meetings in San Marcos and in Round Rock to share this Master Plan.
During our planning process, we determined that now is the time to manage the growth of our undergraduate population and to accelerate our growth at the graduate level. Currently, graduate students make up 11 percent of our enrollment. The average for Texas’ Emerging Research Universities is 21 percent.
So, during the next 10 years, we plan to annually increase undergraduates by 1.5 percent and graduate students by 3 percent.
Number 3. We smoothly implemented our Campus Carry policies -- virtually without incident. This was due, no doubt, to the fact that we had a broad-based, inclusive process that led to development of those policies during 2015-16. I will have more to say about this shortly.
Number 4. We initiated our SACSCOC decennial reaffirmation process. Our Compliance Report is due in September 2019, and we will have our site visit in spring of 2020. Our progress last year also included selection of our Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, topic – undergraduate research – and our identification of reaffirmation and QEP leadership.
Number 5. We made great progress on construction and renovation projects, beginning with the very building we are in right now. The construction taking place here will result in a University Events Center, which will enlarge Strahan Coliseum and give us more space for our commencement ceremonies, our athletics contests, and other events.
We also are adding new buildings for Science and Engineering and Health Professions; updating the Alkek Library and the LBJ Student Center, expanding STAR Park; and opening a new state-of-the-art Archive and Research Center. I will offer more details about these construction projects in a moment.
Number 6. Our athletics teams had a number of achievements both in the classroom and in Sun Belt Conference competition this past year. I am pleased to report that all of Texas State's intercollegiate athletic programs scored above the national standard in the latest NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate, or APR. This APR is an important indicator of the academic success of athletic programs. Three teams – women's cross country, women’s golf, and tennis – earned perfect scores of 1,000 and received special recognition from the NCAA based on their academic performance.
Additionally, Texas State’s softball, men’s golf, women’s track and field, and soccer teams all posted multi-year rates above the national average of 981. Also this spring, the women’s track and field team won both the indoor and the outdoor Sun Belt Conference Track & Field Championships, and the softball team earned an at-large bid to the NCAA regional tournament.
Number 7. We engaged in strategic fiscal management necessitated by cuts in state funding. If you look at our overall funding from the state of Texas for the upcoming biennium, it might appear that our funding for the next two years is about the same as it was for the last two years. That appearance masks three important facts.
First, our enrollment grew by 2,069 students from one biennium to the next. We not only did not receive any new funding for that growth, but also our formula funding was actually cut.
Second, our total appropriation that we can spend for the ongoing operations of the university was cut by about $4.4 million over the biennium. These general operating funds are essential for the day-to-day operations of the university. For example, the salaries of many in this room are paid from these general operating funds.
Third, our existing Special Items, such as the Texas School Safety Center and the Small Business Development Center, were cut by about $1.3 million over the biennium. In the aggregate, our existing Special Items were cut by 34 percent. But then the Legislature approved a $2.8 million per year new Special Item called the Materials Application Research Center, or MARC, that will work in conjunction with our Ph.D. in Materials Science, Engineering, and Commercialization.
So, if you only look at the bottom line, we look even. That is due to the MARC’s receiving just about the same amount as is the cut to general revenue. This leaves us having to deal with a very real operating budget cut, even though the total amount of state appropriations for the biennium looks very close to the last biennium. If you factor in our enrollment growth, for all intents and purposes, you see about an 8 percent cut to our per-student funding for operations from the state.
How are we dealing with this cut? In May at our President’s Cabinet retreat, we began our preparation.
As you know, we are deferring a decision on the distribution of a 2 percent merit pool until later this fall. Our hope is to create a merit pool at that time and distribute it beginning in the spring semester.
Whether we can give a merit raise will depend on how large our enrollment increase is this fall, and how many Hazlewood exemption students we have. If we don’t realize the paid enrollment we expect, members of the Cabinet are prepared to cut their divisional budgets.
So, two things are unresolved at this time: first, whether we will distribute a 2 percent merit pool, and second, whether divisional budgets will have to be cut. But we do know that because they took around a 30 percent budget cut, the Texas School Safety Center and the Small Business Development Center will have to reduce their staff sizes.
Number 8. On a positive fiscal note, we reached all-time highs in our fundraising activities. During this fiscal year, which hasn’t quite ended, we achieved a major milestone in fundraising – $34.6 million – easily eclipsing the previous high set a year ago of $27 million. Another extraordinary achievement is that we added 42 new endowments, which together were valued at more than $8 million. And our overall endowment of about $182 million has more than doubled over the last five years.
Number 9. We made significant progress toward our goal of becoming eligible for the National Research University Fund. As you know, there are several metrics we must meet before we can access that Fund. Let me report on four of them.
First, I am pleased to announce that for the fourth straight year, we experienced an increase in our restricted research expenditures. That makes it nine out of the past 10 years that Texas State has had an increase in externally funded research. The average annual increase during that span was 23 percent.
Second, as I said earlier, our endowment reached the $182 million-mark, an increase from $165 million last year. We are almost halfway to the $400 million-metric, which is required for National Research University Fund eligibility.
Third, our freshman class last year attained the goal of 50 percent of the class coming from the top quartile of their high school classes.
We are on track to achieve this metric again when classes start on Monday, even though our two top competitors – UT Austin and Texas A&M – are increasing the size of their freshman classes by recruiting these same top students.
The fourth metric requires us to have strong and thriving graduate programs, which brings us to the final accomplishment of the last year.
Number 10. As I said earlier, we expect our graduate programs, on a percentage basis, to grow faster than our undergraduate ones. In fall of 2015, we added a master’s degree in engineering and two weeks ago today we graduated the first eight students from that program.
Also in 2015 we launched a master’s in Health Information Management and last year we received permission from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to start this fall a master of science in Respiratory Care and a Ph.D. in Computer Science.
In short, we are adding graduate programs, graduating students from these programs in a timely manner, and thus making progress toward National Research University Fund eligibility.
As we look to the year ahead, many exciting things are on our plate.
We wasted no time in seizing the opportunities presented by our trips to Mexico and Spain. For example, this summer we participated in a virtual fair with Fulbright scholars from Mexico to align them with our graduate programs.
In addition, we are energized by the potential for collaboration in arts and culture with our friends in Mexico because of Texas State’s Wittliff Collections.
Also this fall we will follow up on our trip to the Universidad de Castilla–La Mancha by finalizing a faculty research exchange program with the UCLM campus in Cuenca and study-abroad programs for students also at UCLM’s Cuenca campus.
Furthermore, UCLM’s Grand Rector, Vice Provost, and Academic Headmaster will visit us in October to explore more opportunities for academic collaboration.
As we promised last August when we implemented our Campus Carry rules and processes, we have begun our holistic review of those rules after the first year of implementation. During this past year, many of you used the online post-implementation survey tool on the Campus Carry website to provide suggestions about how our implementation of the Campus Carry law can be improved.
I have reconvened the Campus Carry Task Force to review those suggestions this fall and propose new rules that are based on the suggestions received, hold public hearings to seek input from the university community, and make recommendations to me.
As an additional way to hear your voices during this review process, I invite you to share your opinions, comments, and suggestions by using a new online survey that you can access, beginning today, on the Campus Carry website. After receiving your feedback and the recommendations of the Task Force, I will re-draft our policy and take it to the Board of Regents for approval.
We spent a lot of time this summer updating our crisis communication procedures. For example, we have established an updated system for notifying you about incidents, depending on their severity. Of course, we will continue to issue timely warnings as prescribed by law when criminal activity occurs on campus property or within its immediate perimeter.
Meanwhile, we are in the process of improving our responses to situations that affect the well-being of our university community. The reality is that we can’t be expected to distribute substantial information about a breaking incident faster than some social media postings, but we can improve our response times.
Our goal is to avoid situations in which misinformation dominates social media postings.
As I said earlier, this fall we are launching a new Ph.D. program in computer science. An added benefit of this program will be a significant boost to our intellectual footprint at STAR Park. We also are developing a Ph.D. in applied anthropology. We expect to have authorization for this program from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in time to launch it in fall 2018.
Additionally, this year we are developing master’s degrees in integrated agricultural sciences, analytics and information systems, marketing, and two in nursing — one in leadership and administration and the other in psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner. We also are working on a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
We are bolstering our Translational Health Research Initiative, which started last year. We had almost 200 faculty attend the Health Scholars showcase in February, and that represents just a portion of the overall faculty who are involved in research and scholarly programs associated with health. Moreover, this health initiative involves faculty across all colleges at Texas State, and the range of activities includes everything from biomedical and bioengineering research to population and community health research.
We also are expanding our student success initiatives to give students greater access to resources that will help them have a successful university experience, and thus increase our retention and graduation rates. One example of these student success initiatives is the Personalized Academic and Career Exploration, or PACE, Success Team, which launches this fall and will involve assigning a team that includes an academic advisor, career counselor, peer mentor, academic coach and University Seminar faculty member to each new PACE freshman at Texas State.
Also this fall we officially open our new Archive and Research Center, or ARC, at STAR Park. This massive facility will house lightly used books, certain archives, and other materials from the Albert B. Alkek Library to make space for a major renovation project there.
Most modern university libraries have either already become -- or are in the process of shifting to – centers that support collaborative learning and include the resources that today’s students are more likely to need to complete their assignments or to conduct research. It will take about a year to move enough of the materials from the Alkek to the ARC before we can pursue substantial renovations at the library.
Our vision for the updated library includes multiple locations within the Alkek that will house new and emerging technologies that support our growing research activities and prepare students for the environments they will encounter after they graduate.
Students and faculty gathering at the Alkek will be able to experiment in areas such as virtual reality, geographic information systems, data visualization, game development, digital media, 3-D modeling and product design. This renovation will be a multi-year effort that will begin in fall of 2018.
You heard me mention STAR Park a couple of times this morning. The research and commercialization park is coming up on its fifth-year anniversary, and it has experienced tremendous growth. STAR Park is not only attractive to prospective clients because it gives them access to student researchers, outstanding faculty and highly specialized equipment, but also because the park falls within the Austin-San Antonio Innovation Corridor, which is among the fastest growing in America.
A project that will begin this year at STAR Park is an Infrastructure Research Lab. This facility will provide the latest technologies related to strength and structural testing for concrete beams and materials used in constructing, for example, bridges. And it will support our civil engineering program, which will launch in 2019.
We are also looking forward to opening two major academic buildings over the next year. At the end of next spring, we will open Willow Hall, which will be the third building on our Round Rock Campus.
This new building will allow us to move degree programs in communication disorders, physical therapy, and respiratory care from San Marcos to Round Rock and will help us expand capacity in those three programs by about 33 percent.
Most of you know it is our goal to move all of the programs within the College of Health Professions to the Round Rock Campus. This move allows us to take advantage of health science institutions in Williamson County and north Travis County and extend greater opportunities for clinical training to our health professions students.
In fall 2018, we will open Ingram Hall, our newest engineering and science building. At 166,000 square feet, Ingram Hall will be our largest academic building, and will allow us to significantly expand engineering programming, increase research in biology, add student success programs, and help meet the need for additional mathematics classrooms.
And the University Events Center will allow us to seat more visitors at graduation ceremonies, which are growing every year. The other added benefit is that, with the expanded Events Center, we will be able to move coaches’ offices and locker rooms from Jowers into the University Events Center. That will allow us to free up space in Jowers for academic purposes to support the dance program and Health and Human Performance, which is one of our fastest growing departments. The University Events Center should be completed in late 2018, and the renovations in Jowers will take about another year after that.
Of course, a key component of last year’s achievements and the ones we look forward to this year is the university’s ability to raise additional funds. We all know that in Texas we face an unavoidable truth: more students entering college in Texas these days have greater financial need. Almost 60 percent of students in Texas public schools live in poverty. That makes it imperative that Texas State provide more scholarship assistance.
As I said earlier, every great research university has a great undergraduate population. So as we go forward we know we must secure endowed scholarships for high-achieving students. Our goal is to add an additional $25 million in endowment gifts by the year 2020. This will take a lot of work and will require that we continue to build upon our good reputation both with our alumni and with our current and prospective supporters.
Let me close this morning by ruminating about the total solar eclipse of four days ago that was viewed by a huge swath of the country from Oregon to South Carolina. As you know, a total eclipse is quite rare. The last time one was visible in the United States was 1979. The next one is scheduled for April 8, 2024, and that eclipse will be visible from right here. According to an online site counting down to that occurrence, we only have to wait 2,418 days, 3 hours and about 17 minutes.
Monday’s event was visible to millions of people within a 70-mile-wide band that stretched across the continental U.S. Because it was such a rare event, thousands of people traveled to where the total eclipse was visible. Among them was a group of students from the Texas State Astronomy Club, which traveled 800 miles over 14 hours by car to Marshall, Missouri, to witness the eclipse. The club members captured the event – and their exuberance – on a 50-minute video taken from a lush pasture, then later posted the recording on Facebook. You could tell club members were excited about the total eclipse because you could hear them hooting and hollering during the video. One club member could even be heard singing a rendition of the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” at just the right moment.
For Americans, this eclipse made for a day of celebration. However, various cultures over the centuries have viewed an eclipse in other ways. The Navajo say an eclipse signals unrest, and warn that those individuals who observe one need to be careful lest they fall out of balance with the universe. Villagers in Togo in western Africa believe the eclipse indicates that the Sun and moon are fighting and, therefore, see it as a time to resolve differences.
So my advice to you is to resolve differences, figure out how to have balance in your lives, and realize how a singular event can have such a wide impact. And now the ruminating starts:
Think about it: at Texas State, we graduate more than 8,000 students a year. And these graduates will go out into the world and impact their families, their co-workers, even people they never meet. Before you know it, the impact that our graduates have over time can affect millions of other people.
What I truly appreciate about this university is that – through our core values of civility, respect, inclusion and care for one another – we can brighten whatever darkens our sky.
It is our collective spirit that truly makes the Texas State impact. So thank you for what you do, every day, to make our university better. I look forward to another exciting year at Texas State.
It’s always a great day to be a Bobcat.