During my five years as a dean (first of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and then of Yale College), the end of August was a time for welcoming new students and introducing them to life at Yale. As provost, the focus shifted to the faculty, as newly arrived members of schools and departments across the university prepared to teach and conduct research around campus.
Now, as president, I have the good fortune to look in both directions. In the weeks ahead, I will be greeting incoming undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at academic ceremonies, orientation programs, and other events; getting to know new faculty members from all disciplines and every part of the university; and joining with the many colleagues across campus who will help introduce the newest additions to our extended family—these students and faculty members and their families too—to the many intriguing facets of Yale.
For those of you who are just becoming a part of this community, I hope you will find that you are not merely an English major among English majors, or a law student among law students, or a medical professor among medical professors. Over the course of your time here, in labs and libraries, dining halls and cafés, Payne Whitney Gym and the Yale Rep, campus organizations and civic engagement, you will cross paths with thousands of people who came here for completely different reasons from yours.
Last month I invited readers of my “Notes from Woodbridge Hall” to share stories and photographs from their summer adventures, and as the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” The many alumni, faculty, staff, and students who responded are as diverse in their interests and backgrounds as the experiences they wrote to me about. The resulting slide show gives a snapshot of some of the many faces that, individually and collectively, make Yale the unique and multifaceted place it is.