My name is Rakin Hall and I am the new Executive Director of the Office of Admissions at the University of Utah. I recently relocated to the beautiful state of Utah two months ago from southern California.
My decision to join the University of Utah Family was easy based on myriad factors. I believe climate, culture, and diversity make the University of Utah unique. To live and study in a place that combines two, beautifully rich, divergent topography’s of an urban landscape set against a majestic mountain range—provides students a singular experience that allows them to grow both academically and personally. I feel that the University of Utah and Salt Lake City wouldn’t be the same without each other. Salt Lake City was founded July 24, 1847, and The University of Utah of Utah was founded February 28, 1850. Both have a long history of collaboration and a strong trajectory of growth in industry, arts, education, medicine, and entertainment. Salt Lake City and The U share the same ethos of being progressive in thought and a spirit of adventure.
Within the course of your day you can engage in research, meaningful debate, take the TRAX to a local coffeehouse downtown, and end your day hiking on one of the many trails that surround the university. To be able to have the excitement of Salt Lake City and the calm of the Wasatch Mountains creates an incredible state of Zen that I am growing to love more and more each day.
Being a Flagship, Research One, University is more than a title. It means that you are in an academic arena where intentional engagement is the starting point of any conversation. To be at a truly global university that is ethnically, geographically, and socially diverse allows our campus community to better understand the nuance of each family member’s human condition. The best part about diversity, is that it changes the acoustics of any conversation. As you conduct research and discover new knowledge—you can glean myriad perspectives that will take a nebulous concept and narrow it down to a definable construct that brings a clearer understanding to your work.
I’ve enjoyed the conversations that I’ve had with my fellow Utahns. As a new son to the state I have been welcomed with warm smiles and open arms. During my first trip to Smith’s Grocery Store, I met a woman who relocated to Utah from Puerto Rico after the floods ravaged her home and livelihood. She told me of all of the states within the republic—Utah was the most welcoming. She recently started working at the grocery store and enthusiastically espoused many of the traits that I too witness during my short two months in Salt Lake City. Utah continues to grow as a state and university. The bond that exists between the two is strong. Through each stage of growth—growing pains are inevitable. But at each stage of discovery, as we acknowledge past misgivings, our union becomes stronger. We understand as a people—we are beautifully imperfect—but we intentionally work towards the greater good. I am happy to call the state and the University of Utah home—I believe you will too. Go Utah!
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