Published January 28, 2019
Dear University Community,
Welcome back to UB! With the first day of the spring semester upon us, our university community is once again “at full strength,” so to speak. Labs and lecture halls are filling up; friends and colleagues are catching up. “What did you do over break?” is a question we’re bound to hear at least once as we make our way across campus today.
For many of you, I’m sure the past month was used to complete book chapters, write grant proposals, apply to graduate school or refine dissertations. Hopefully, amidst all that productivity, you were also able to make room for well-deserved rest and relaxation! Perhaps you even had the opportunity to travel. I know that was the case for some of our students – though it was not the leisure travel you might expect to occur between semesters.
A group of our law students, for example, journeyed to Puerto Rico to seek justice for residents still recovering in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Participants in our alternative winter break just returned from a week in southern Louisiana, where they undertook projects aimed at sustaining fragile wetlands.
Over the next several days, I am sure I’ll hear other stories of our UB community members contributing their considerable talents to the greater good. Every time you engage in this essential civic exercise, you not only serve as an inspiring example to all of us – you uphold the public purpose of higher education. I, for one, couldn’t be prouder. Thank you for putting UB’s deeply held values into action – not just over the past month, but throughout the year.
When you reflect on the coming semester, I hope, like me, you feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of a diverse, inclusive scholarly community that is dedicated to positively impacting society. As a public research university, service is central to our mission, and our identity. It permeates all of our endeavors, from our research, scholarship and creative activities to our extracurricular projects.
This semester, I invite all of you — faculty, students and staff — to take full advantage of these rich opportunities. When we work together to bring our intellectual and creative capacities to bear on the challenges facing our world, the results can be transformative.
Truly, is there any more rewarding New Year’s resolution to keep?
On that note: Happy New Year! I wish you all the best for a productive and successful spring semester.
Satish K. Tripathi