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  • Our Commitment to Diversity

    As you probably know, the justices of the United States Supreme Court delivered some major decisions in the final weeks of this year’s term. Two of these in particular have potentially significant and long-term impacts for this university and for higher education in general. 

  • Celebrating Our Library

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    As most of you know from the email I sent a few weeks ago, pending board approval, we will be welcoming John P. Wilkin as university librarian and dean of libraries in August. I thank Paula Kaufman for her wonderful leadership of this university icon. Of all the grand accomplishments and great hallmarks across our history, I think none stand out like the university library. 

  • The Importance of Summer Camps

    With summer in full swing, it can often feel like children are taking over our campus. Indeed, we have a thriving camp system with thousands of kids ages six to 18 coming to Illinois throughout the next few months. While these camps are a wonderful service to kids and families, our camps are also strategic advantages for the university. For many families these experiences serve to set the first and lasting impression of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They can be the start of a relationship that will last a lifetime.  

     

  • Memorial Day & A Campus Commitment

    As we take time to enjoy Memorial Day this year among friends and family and to celebrate what has come to be the unofficial start of summer, I also urge all of us to take some time to consider the intent and purpose of this holiday: to remember those in our community who have died serving in the nation’s Armed Forces. And more broadly, it is a day to remind us that the world conflicts of recent years has brought a new generation of student, staff and faculty veterans to the campus.

  • Health & Wellness

    Bluebells in full bloom at Allerton Park.
    Bluebells in full bloom at Allerton Park.

    I love the hustle and bustle at the beginning of May. But often in the midst of preparing for Commencement, taking final exams, submitting work to academic journals and all the other tasks that go along with this time on campus, I think we can neglect our health. Fortunately, we have so many resources on campus to lead us towards a healthy lifestyle.

  • Commencement and the Excitement of a Great Year

    The beginning of May always brings a welcome energy to our community. There is the anticipation and the excitement of change permeating our campus. This is an invigorating time for all of us here at Illinois. It’s a time for seizing opportunities, for the planning futures and for taking new chances. It’s also a time for celebrating.

  • Shared Visions and Strategic Actions

    Provost Adesida and I thank all of you who joined us in the Beckman Institute (or watched the live stream) Monday for our Town Hall meeting to discuss the emerging vision and strategic plan for the campus. We know the large turnout meant a number of you were watching from an overflow room or from seats in the aisles. We appreciate your presence and your clear interest and engagement in the future direction of this campus.

  • The 2013 Symposium for Undergraduate Research

    The Undergraduate Research Symposium, taking place on Thursday (April 18) of this week in the Illini Union, is a great way to share student research with the campus. Now in its 6th year, the symposium continues to celebrate student scholarship. And this year should prove to be the best yet. And in a sign that our institutional efforts are already beginning to show results, the 2013 symposium features almost twice as many presentations, with about half of those presenters being freshmen, sophomores and juniors.

  • Ebertfest without Roger

    On April 4, we lost a great friend of our university -- Roger Ebert. Always the consummate ambassador, Roger was a generous donor and more broadly a lifelong representative of the values upon which we were founded. We will miss him. As I hope you have heard, Ebertfest will go on as planned next week (April 17-21) with Roger’s wife, Chaz, hosting the event. While his absence will echo throughout the festival, it is a wonderful opportunity for this campus and community to remember and honor Roger Ebert. And, the sadness will be tempered by the news that the festival will continue for years to come with Chaz Ebert’s continued involvement.

  • Day of Service. Tradition of Service.

    I am looking forward to the first annual Campus and Community Day of Service coming up on April 20. Philanthropy and service have always been foundational to our mission, and designating a specific day for this purpose enables us to come together in a more powerful way.