Some of you, of a certain vintage, probably received Dr. Seuss's famous book by the above title for a high school graduation or 18th birthday gift. It seemed to be a good title for this column about what is happening at UT Dallas and in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
In every regard, few of us could have imagined even five years ago, and certainly not 20 or 30 years ago, when some of us first arrived at UTD, the transformations at the University. For instance, when I first became dean of the then School of Human Development, there were 513 students majoring in six degree programs. There were 7,667 total students at UTD. This fall, we have 2,100 Behavioral and Brain Sciences students majoring in 12 degree programs. The total enrollment at UTD is almost 20,000 students.
What once felt like a campus only at night, when the population ballooned, now is a swirl of activity and energy from dawn to midnight. New buildings appear each year and the campus has been transformed by extensive landscaping, thanks to the generosity of donors and the UT System. The quality of our students, always high, continues to rise. This fall's freshman class once again has the highest average SAT of any public university in Texas, and also the largest number of National Merit Scholars.
These exciting transformations are reflected in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. The school's internationally distinguished Callier Center has been joined by two additional affiliated centers, the Center for BrainHealth and the Center for Vital Longevity, both developing innovative areas of research and attracting top faculty and students. Our newest center, the Center for Children and Families, continues our founding commitment to understanding and promoting the optimal development of children. The creation of these centers by leading faculty from the school has dramatically advanced our national presence in important new areas of research, as well as providing increased community impact.
We also continue to develop new programs for our students to try to ensure that we support the myriad paths that they wish to pursue. The school's programs of research advance knowledge in an amazing array of domains ranging from the brain bases of language to factors influencing childhood obesity; from diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders to how our brains age.
So, it is an exciting time to be part of UTD. Whether you are a student, faculty member or graduate, you should feel proud of how far we've come and even more enthusiastic about the possibilities that lie ahead. Whether or not you still stroll our campus every day, stay connected to BBS. We have amazing places to go — and we certainly hope you come along for the journey.