Letters to Campus Community
Welcome Message from Mary Sue Coleman
September 2, 2008
It’s my pleasure to welcome you to a new academic year. The University of Michigan is always an exciting place, but never more so than in the fall.
The enthusiasm on campus is palpable at this time of year, and it permeates the array of activities at our schools and colleges, our museums and libraries, our performance spaces, and our sports venues.
I am particularly pleased to greet the Class of 2012, which has just arrived on campus. These students were selected from a record number of applicants, and I encourage everyone to welcome them to our community.
Our newest students embody the academic excellence that defines Michigan. That includes a student body with a record number of Fulbright fellows, and a faculty that last year produced the most Guggenheim fellows in North America.
Our passionate pursuit of knowledge at Michigan fuels an atmosphere that Henry Tappan, our first president, described as “filled with inspirations to thought, research, and culture.”
Among our current priorities is climate change and how we as a university can make a difference for the better. It is a complex challenge that many of our schools and colleges are exploring, often in collaboration with one another.
For example, the challenge of society’s demand for energy is the focus of this fall’s theme semester among the diverse disciplines of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. And the University-wide Arts on Earth initiative will bring together artists, musicians, engineers, scientists, and architects this fall to explore the deep connections between the arts and the environment.
From the arts, to science and medicine, all of this intellectual activity demands the best possible facilities for the students of today and tomorrow.
The construction cranes dotting our campus today symbolize the University’s growth and change for the 21st century.
We are putting the final touches on the new home of the Ross School of Business, highlighting the stature of business education at Michigan. Mosher-Jordan Residence Hall re-opens this fall, after a two-year renovation, and features the spectacular new Hill Dining Center. The enhancement of Michigan Stadium promises to make football Saturdays more spectacular than ever.
And the two largest building projects in campus history continue with North Quad and C.S. Mott Children’s and Women’s Hospital. One will enhance the experience of students, and the other will transform the future of children and their families.
The University attracts a steady stream of illustrious guests, continuing this fall with such performers and speakers as Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu, England’s acclaimed Complicite theatre company, author David Sedaris, and the Soweto Gospel Choir.
Interesting people and remarkable accomplishments are part of our DNA here at Michigan. We see it in our classrooms and laboratories, on our playing fields, and in the splendor of our campus. It is showcased in the broad interests and talents of our students, staff and faculty.
There’s really no better time to be at the University of Michigan, and I hope you are looking forward to the new year as much as I am.
You have my best wishes for a productive and rewarding fall.
Mary Sue Coleman