Dear Members of the Cornell University Faculty and Staff,
Today, after much planning and anticipation, I begin my appointment as the 13th president of Cornell University. From my office in Day Hall on the Ithaca campus, I can see several of Cornell's iconic buildings—Sage Hall and Sage Chapel, Barnes Hall, McGraw Tower, Olin Library—all of them reminders of the university's rich history and its continuing vitality. Members of the faculty and staff, summer session students, prospective students and parents, and other visitors are moving through their day on the paths below. There is a purposefulness about their movements that suggests that they, like so many Cornellians I have met over the past several months, are part of a vibrant academic community dedicated to advancing knowledge and making a difference in the world.
In the weeks before we welcome new members of our campus communities and greet returning colleagues and students, I am looking forward to meeting more of you and exploring parts of Cornell I have not visited in my travel over the last nine months. I will spend time in New York City, where Weill Cornell Medical College has been a pioneer in medical education and biomedical research for more than a century and where Cornell has a growing number of other thriving programs. Among other visits, I will check on the progress at our new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island. I am also eager to discover the beauty of upstate New York, as well as meet our Ithaca neighbors at the Farmers Market and the new Commons. I am scheduled to meet with several local and state political and business leaders and discuss the myriad ways Cornell strengthens the region and plays a role in developing evidence-based policy that improves well-being.
Whether you are a member of the faculty or staff, whether you are in Ithaca or elsewhere, I hope you share my pride in our university, as well as in the essential work you and your colleagues do on its behalf. Over the next few weeks and months, I look forward to learning from you about the full breadth of Cornell and to working with you on a shared quest: to make Cornell an even more distinguished and distinctive university with a deep commitment to the life of the mind that is expressed through discovery, creativity, intellectual and societal engagement, and impact that spans the globe.