Welcome back message from Vice President Susan Murphy

I wish you a warm welcome to the new academic year, and join President Skorton in extending our best wishes to you for a happy, productive year. And what a year it will be, with our sesquicentennial festivities kicking off in October! I invite you to become involved in celebrating the rich 150-year history of Cornell. As a member of our community, you have contributions to make in honoring our past while helping us to chart the path for the next 150 years.

I am fortunate to have been both an undergraduate and graduate student at Cornell, and in my current role as vice president for Student and Academic Services, my goal is to set the stage for each and every Cornell student to thrive. Along with my deep pride as a member of our community, I write to offer you a few observations that I hope will help you achieve great success in the upcoming year.

Connect and get involved. Among the reasons you are here is to challenge yourself. I encourage you to embrace new experiences and to stretch beyond your comfort zone. Connect with those around you, meet new people, get involved, and create a community for yourself. There are new friends to make, new viewpoints and perspectives to learn and share, new academic areas to explore, new interests to discover, athletic games to play and watch, and a wide range of activities and clubs to join. If you are in Ithaca, plan to attend ClubFest on September 7 for a great introduction to Cornell's over 1,000 undergraduate and graduate student organizations.

Respect one another. We are a diverse and dynamic community that will enrich and expand your world in new and surprising ways. Our community is respectful, and we care and look out for each other. "Know the power of your words" and pledge not to use hurtful language. Pay attention to everything and everyone around you. Revel in understanding and appreciating someone different than yourself.

Reach out. We want you to thrive while you are enrolled at Cornell. As you experience all that Cornell has to offer, times can get trying, things can go wrong, and life can become challenging, so I encourage you to support one another and take care of yourself. Learn how to ask for help, identify your support networks and know when to reach out. Familiarize yourself with our Caring Community site, which shares resources that support the health and well-being of our community.

You have embarked on a wonderful, personal journey, one I hope you will create for yourself using the solid foundation of all Cornell offers. With a big shout out to all of our incoming students in our sesquicentennial year, welcome home.


Susan Murphy
Vice President, Student and Academic Services