As another semester draws to a close, I want to encourage each of us to spend some time in reflection. It is easy to push through the end of May, working fervently to be finished with all of the semester’s responsibilities. But this has been a truly wonderful year.
Reflecting on this year means something different for all of the various groups that make up the Illinois family. For our administration, it means reviewing our Strategic Plan initiatives. We have much to be proud of. After all, we have made significant plans and progress. And though the end of the year doesn’t change our process, it is a logical time to look back and review.
For our faculty members, it may mean spending time thinking about the last semester’s classes and students. Or it may mean celebrating the progress that has been made on a research project. For our retiring faculty members and staff, it means remembering a career.
For students, this week may signal the end of a freshman’s successful first year on campus. For other students, it may mean reflecting on friendships made, lessons learned and goals accomplished. And for graduating students, this week marks the end of an experience. Whether our graduates are headed to new jobs or graduate school, I hope they take a moment to reflect back on their time at Illinois. They have much to be proud of. And we hope they remember that they will always have a home at Illinois.
We hope that as you reflect, you will notice change. Certainly, our physical campus is changing with construction and a newly-bronzed Alma Mater statue. But we also hope that our faculty, staff and students have been transformed into even better scholars, teachers, citizens and neighbors. And we are proud to say that because of the wonderful contributions made by the Illinois family this year, Illinois has changed too.
I hope you’ll take just a couple of minutes and watch this short message of congratulations and best wishes - wherever your road takes you next.
Around the Campus
Commencement will be held this weekend, May 17-18. For full details, please visit their website. To stay up-to-date on current information, please follow the Illinois Twitter account, @Illinois_Alma. And join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #ILLINOIS2014.
Congratulations to Barbara J. Wilson who has been named the Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, pending approval of the university’s board of trustees. Wilson was previously the executive vice provost for faculty and academic affairs at Illinois. View the full story here.
Congratulations to John D. Colombo who has been named interim dean of the College of Law, pending approval of the university’s board of trustees. Colombo is the Albert E. Jenner Jr. Professor of Law. View the full story here.