As we enter the final days of this semester, I want to thank you for a great year.
The end of the academic year is an opportunity to celebrate your accomplishments
and reflect on how the new knowledge learned both in and out of the classroom,
has deepened your understanding of the world. It is also a chance to consider the
many experiences you have had with others that have supported you and, in some
cases, how your assumptions have been challenged leading you to embrace new
perspectives and possibilities.
I have also been fortunate to witness your growth and every day continue to be
amazed at how talented you are in so many different ways. For some, I have had
the chance to get to know you well and we have talked often. Others, perhaps,
have made every attempt to avoid talking to me. Some have shared their joys and
made me smile and laugh. Others have recounted heartbreaking experiences that
have brought tears to my eyes. And, some of you have shared how you have
worked to overcome your fears and are now ready to pursue your dreams and
goals. I have watched artistic performances, academic presentations, sporting
events and, even for a brief moment, held a broom and quaffle before a Quidditch
team practice. In all, each of you has made progress in some way and that is what
is most important.
With final exams approaching, I know this is a stressful time of year as everyone
wants to finish strong. If you are experiencing high levels of stress, know that
resources are available to help you such as the academic coaches, the tutor center,
health services and counseling services. Also, be sure to take advantage of Finals
Overall, this has been a year of additional stress brought on by events playing out
on the national stage. We find ourselves living today in what many would consider
to be an increasingly charged and strained world that adds additional stress to our
lives. We have seen horrific acts of terrorism, economic corruption, and rancor
within and between political parties. These events have resulted in conversations
on campus around freedom of speech; racism; and diversity and inclusion, among
others. While these conversations are difficult, they are important, and they will
continue. This is a campus for everyone, and we are enriched by embracing and
learning from all voices. As president, I am committed to that value. As we close
out the year, now is an especially important time to demonstrate that we are a
For those preparing to graduate, I look forward to seeing you at commencement
and hope that you will remain connected to the university and come back to share.
For those returning to campus in the fall, I wish you a restful summer break and I
will see you next semester recharged and ready to go.
Richard S. Lapidus