Welcome to the start of the new semester

Dear colleagues, friends and students and scholars across the University of Michigan community.

Happy New Year, and welcome to the start of the new semester!

Whether you just joined us, or are anticipating commencement this spring, we have much to look forward to together, we have much to do, to dream, to achieve.

We have brightening days ahead, moments of solemn pride as well as laughter and lasting memories.

To be sure we will have our challenges, for there are few achievements without testing or difficulty, and learning and growth come from ability and excellence, as well as persistence, resilience, and adaptability.

Yet no matter the heights to which we aspire, no matter what laurels we achieve, those will be worth little if we fail the test of the crucible, if we fail to live out our values such as respect, inclusion and integrity.

So at the start of this new year and new semester, let us promise ourselves – and pledge one another – that we will go forward in learning, achievement and excellence, even as we walk together in understanding and humility, and we treat one another with deep respect and dignity.

When we do so, we will change ourselves, and even more, we will transform our society.

Let’s have a fantastic semester together … and Go Blue!

Santa J. Ono