Let’s get this celebration started!

Let’s get this celebration started: Welcome to a new academic year.

I say “celebration” because it truly is one. You may be starting your first year at the U or finishing the final year of studies in your degree; you may be a newly hired faculty member or a longtime colleague returning to campus after a well-deserved summer break.

Whichever category you’re in, you’ve worked hard to be here. Today, you stand at the threshold of a fresh beginning. I want you to know we will do all we can to support you in your academic journey.

To our new students: I am sure there are a variety of reasons you chose the U, from a passion for a specific subject to a desire to solve a pressing societal issue to the opportunity to learn from some of our renowned faculty. I hope you take advantage of all the U has to offer: great classes, outstanding internships, engaged learning experiences, guest speakers, art performances and athletic events.

To our returning students: Welcome back! I hope the break left you refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to re-engage in your studies. The good news? You are one year closer to the finish line.

To our new and our existing faculty: We are invested in your success and in helping you build a long, productive career at the U. You are part of a great university—a university on the rise by virtually every indicator, and this is, in large measure, due to your great work.

Whatever your passions, dreams and ambitions, our goal is simple. We want you to have an exceptional educational experience at the University of Utah while you help expand the boundaries of knowledge, research and innovation.

On a more serious note, I want to say a word about safety at the University of Utah. Your safety and that of our entire campus community is a priority for me and for my administration.

We have taken many actions to make this a safe place for everyone to work, study, live and participate in all we offer. This is an ongoing effort, one that requires the support and participation of all of us.

I want to point you specifically to safeu.utah.edu, which is the hub for all safety-related reporting and resource information. Please take a moment to visit the website and become familiar with its many offerings, from links connecting you to self-defense and bystander intervention trainings to arranging a courtesy escort or reporting a crime.

You’ll be hearing a lot about safety in October, which we have designated as SafeU Month, so stay tuned for that.

Again, on behalf of the entire university, please know we are deeply committed to your success—whether you are a student, faculty or staff member.

Are you ready for this? Let’s go, Utah!