One of My Favorite Weeks of the Year

August 18, 2014

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year at Yale, as summer winds down and we prepare to welcome new and returning students and faculty. There is a palpable sense of energy and optimism all over campus: no overdue papers or problem sets, no pending exams – almost anything seems possible!

Already, students running various Yale College pre-orientation programs are much in evidence, wearing their identifying t-shirts. I will be much in evidence, as well: on Monday I am leading a day-long retreat for vice presidents and deans; on Tuesday, I’ll greet the new MBA students at SOM, while Marta will have lunch with the Cultural Connections group; Wednesday’s highlight will be an orientation program for new faculty; Thursday is the Graduate School’s matriculation ceremony. On Friday, Marta and Portia and I will be wandering the Old Campus, and Silliman, and Timothy Dwight welcoming Yale College frosh and their parents on move-in day. And then on Saturday and Sunday I am looking forward to the annual Freshman Assembly in Woolsey Hall. This year, my address will focus on the importance of free expression. I am looking forward to hearing Jonathan Holloway’s first Freshman Address as dean of Yale College, as well.

Even with all this positive energy and activity, I’m sure many of you were concerned to hear from Chief Higgins about the robbery on Wall Street on Saturday night. Thanks to the quick action of Yale Security, the Yale Police Department, and the New Haven Police Department, the perpetrators were apprehended. Crime is actually down on the Yale campus year over year, but the security and safety of our campus remains one of my highest priorities. I am grateful for the partnership, professionalism, and commitment of our police and security officers in this regard. 

As I begin my “sophomore” year as president, I look forward to working with you on new initiatives and continuing to make progress on those announced last year. It is a year in which we will focus on promoting excellent teaching, creating research programs that cross disciplinary boundaries, further developing a positive and respectful campus climate, and ensuring that our intellectual treasures are especially accessible.

And I look forward to seeing many of you around campus this week as you begin and renew “the friendships formed at Yale.”