Welcome to a new academic year
The calendar doesn’t yet say so, but it feels like fall has arrived. I’m sure that’s because I’m on a college campus again, and you can feel the anticipation of a new semester. I met some of our new students and their families and friends on move-in day, and it was nice to welcome people to campus after receiving such a warm welcome myself over the past month.
As I’ve been busy getting to know the campus and the city, I have become increasingly impressed with the campus and even more optimistic about the future of the city. One thing I’ve concluded in my short time here is that despite what some say, Detroit is not on the verge of collapse. It’s on the verge of transformation. Students here have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness or participate in the reinvention of the American city. Where else can you do that?
Last week, I met new faculty at an orientation reception. We were outside of the Jacob House, and it was a beautiful evening. The highlight, of course, was speaking to our new professors, who were full of energy and enthusiasm, and couldn’t wait to begin. We entrust our faculty with our most important responsibilities – the education of our students and the creation of knowledge. They are the heart of what we do. After speaking with these talented and interesting people, I’m even more confident in our future, and I believe our newest faculty members are going to exceed our expectations of excellence.
Just yesterday, we celebrated the official start of the academic year and the arrival of our newest class of Warriors at our annual convocation. I’ve been told that ever since former President Irvin Reid started the convocation ceremony fifteen years ago, there have been sunny skies every time. I think I’ll take yesterday’s rain as an auspicious sign of a new beginning. Convocation is a great way to start the semester, and it was a pleasure to see so many students and their friends and families about to start a new chapter in their lives. Our collective advice to our new students could be summarized in two words – work hard. I could probably add two more familiar words of Wayne State wisdom – aim higher. Those students started classes today, and I hope they are already doing both. Let’s help them realize their potential, and their dreams. This is, after all, what we are here for.
Another great signal that fall has truly arrived, despite the calendar, is the start of the football season. The Warriors’ first home game is September 14 at 6:00 p.m. I’m looking forward to attending, and hope to see many of you there.
In the meantime, enjoy this special time on the campus, and the privilege of serving such an important cause.
–M. Roy Wilson, President