University of Minnesota Alumni Association


From the President

Planning for the Future

As a new academic year starts and we are closer to the light at the end of this long, 18-month pandemic tunnel, I want to express my sincere appreciation to all the alumni and supporters of this great institution.

Throughout these challenging months, you have helped us come together as a University community through your selfless commitment to elevate and protect each other’s health, well-being, and safety. You have shared your voice, your thoughts, and expectations, as well as your generosity of spirit that inspires and lifts us all.

As a University, we are poised for greater impact because of your countless acts of service, from your important input into MPact 2025, our new systemwide strategic plan; your advocacy in St. Paul in support of our budget and bonding recommendations; and your ongoing philanthropic support, including support for students through the emergency fund, those in need, or those who may be in a job search.

I also want to extend my thanks to the many of you who have also reached out to me directly, most recently to ask what it might look like to learn, live, work, discover, and serve as a member of our campus community this fall. As with all the important decisions we’ve made together, from our Sunrise and testing plans to our vaccination plans, we are grounded in guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the infection and vaccination rates of our campus’s surrounding communities, and insights from our own internationally renowned public health and medical experts. This collective information and expertise has kept our Covid-19 rates at some of the lowest among our peers and positions us for success as we return to our campuses. 

In this spirit, and as we take our next steps together, we look forward to more face-to-face collaborations that say, “We’re Back!” as this alumni issue highlights—from intimate, small-group seminars, to catching up with friends on Northrop Mall, to welcoming you back for Homecoming. I also note with great excitement the recent Gopher Athletics announcement to operate at full capacity for live sporting events. We have missed seeing and hearing all of you at games, matches, and meets and we can’t wait to welcome you home, while still providing a safe and enjoyable experience.

Friends, over the last year and a half, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves, our institution, and how collectively we learn, work, teach, and serve. Amidst these challenges our values have shined. As we forge ahead into a hopeful and collective future, I look forward to continuing to work and engage with you. And I hope to see you all in person soon to soak up the energy of the new school year and bustling campus as we celebrate the Maroon and Gold.

Thank you for all that you do for the University of Minnesota.

Read More