Chancellor Message 5/1/09

Message to Campus
RE end of the first semester as chancellor

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As I approach the end of my first semester as chancellor, I want to thank everyone at UIC for the warm and gracious welcome you have given me. I have been so impressed with the vitality and intellectual energy of this community.

For example, this week’s fifth annual Richard J. Daley Urban Forum featured record attendance and the first-ever appearance at the Forum by a sitting Vice President of the United States. Mayors from around the world came to UIC to discuss the global economic crisis and the path to recovery. We are so grateful to Vice President Joe Biden for giving his time and sharing his insights.

We head into the close of the semester, final exams and commencements with a sense of anticipation and exhilaration. I am honored that our scheduled commencement speakers include such dignitaries as Governor Quinn, Mayor Daley, Congressman Bill Foster, and Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary of public and intergovernmental affairs for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Recently I marked my 100th day of serving as chancellor of this remarkable campus. Since January I have met with a few hundred of our deans, faculty, students, administrators and staff; attended faculty meetings; traveled to New York, California and Arizona meeting with alumni leaders and seeking to broaden UIC’s base of philanthropic support; and met with many officials from the city, county, state and federal governments. This past Sunday, I was very pleased to be the guest of honor at a welcome reception hosted by Congressman Danny Davis attended by many government officials and community leaders. What has come through so clearly in all these meetings is the vigor of our campus, and the widespread recognition and appreciation of UIC’s commitment to putting our tremendous research and intellectual capacity to the service of Chicago and the other great cities of the world.

To our students who are graduating, I send you all my good wishes for the future. We will always be proud to call you our alumni; you are truly our legacy. I invite you to join the Alumni Association and we look forward to your continuing participation in the life of UIC. This year, the centennial of Daniel Burnham’s Plan for Chicago, we often hear his famous inspirational quote: “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.” As you prepare to receive the degrees you have worked so hard to earn, I share with you a similar sentiment from the renowned early 20th century British educator, F.W. Sanderson: “Think. Think in a spacious way. Think on a grand scale.” I hope your time at UIC has prepared and inspired you to do just that.

Sincerely,

Paula Allen-Meares
Chancellor