When Global Becomes Local

April 11, 2016

It’s not every week that the leader of the United Nations comes to town; or that the heads of thirty of the world’s top universities and cultural institutions convene in New Haven; or that dozens of events, exhibits, open houses, performances, and panel discussions across our campus unite around a single—albeit infinitely complex—topic.

The United Nations Global Colloquium of University Presidents, which we are hosting this year around the theme of cultural heritage preservation, means that the week ahead will be anything but ordinary for Yale. Whether you are among the members of our campus community who were awarded seats in the ticket lottery for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s talk tomorrow (which you can also watch in simulcast on Yale’s YouTube channel) or are taking part in an open house at West Campus, attending one of a diverse array of concerts, or exploring the related exhibits among our campus collections (see the calendar of public events for these and other activities), the colloquium and surrounding programs give all of us an opportunity to connect with—and gain closer understanding of—our shared heritage and the challenges we face in protecting it.

As I wrote to students, faculty, and staff last month, “cultural heritage is, at its essence, what defines humanity.” This week—and on an ongoing basis—Yale and our fellow universities are coming together with the United Nations to #unite4heritage, and I invite all of you to join us.