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President’s Page

A Time of Optimism and Opportunity I look forward to hearing your ideas about how our great University can be ever better. By Sarah C. Mangelsdorf
president (Photo: John Myers)

In late August, the Class of 2023 will arrive on campus. They will come from 44 states and 77 countries, and they will bring new energy and intellectual curiosity to our campus, and fresh perspectives that will help us better understand and define who we are as a community. I am thrilled to join them as a “classmate,” as I too begin my first year as a member of the University community.

I have had many experiences with first days of school—as a student myself, as a parent, a professor, and as an administrator; on big campuses and small—and for me, nothing matches the excitement of the start of a new academic year, especially at a great research university like Rochester. These beginnings are a time of enormous optimism and opportunity.

In the coming weeks, I will celebrate many “firsts.” I will help students as they move in to their residence halls for the first time. I will attend my first Rochester convocation and participate in my first Wilson and Eastman community service days. I am looking forward to joining the audience at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre for my first Gateways Music Festival.

I am also looking forward to meeting alumni, parents, families, and community members during my first Meliora Weekend in October. In addition to connecting with members of the extended University community, I am looking forward to welcoming former colleagues and representatives of our peer academic institutions who will take part in my inauguration ceremony and celebration during Mel Weekend, and showing off my new academic home to them.

The University of Rochester is one of the world’s consequential universities, in one of the most consequential cities in the history of the United States. I have long been aware of the institution’s stature, the strength of its faculty, and the impact of its research and scholarship. I have long admired the City of Rochester’s role as a linchpin in the historic struggles for equality and as the home of companies that in many ways laid the groundwork for some of today’s most influential industries.

And I am energized by recent reports that Rochester is well-situated to become a hub of today’s agile and entrepreneurial tech economy. Rochester—the University and the City—is truly a remarkable place, with much to contribute to our region, our nation, and our planet. I use the singular word “place,” because I believe that our respective futures are, in many ways, indistinguishable.

On my first official day on the job, I went for a run in Mount Hope Cemetery, where I said “hello” to Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. Later, I toured the River Campus with Jessica Robbins ’20, a member of the Meridian Society, a group of undergraduates who lead campus tours for our Undergraduate Admissions Office. She introduced me to some of the iconic spaces—tunnels!—and newest additions—iZone!—to the River Campus.

I hope to repeat this experience at other campus locations. I know I have a lot to learn in the coming months, and I am looking forward to every minute of it.

Since I was introduced as Rochester’s 11th president late last year, I have received an outpouring of well wishes from alumni, faculty, students, staff, and members of the Rochester community. It is clear that the University holds a special place in the lives of many of those who have been part of its long and distinguished legacy. My family and I were gratified to receive such a warm and supportive welcome, and I thank you for your support and encouragement.

I am honored to have been given the opportunity to lead the University of Rochester, but I am mindful that we are all stewards of this remarkable institution. I am grateful for the strong foundation laid by my predecessors, and I look forward to working with all of you to sustain and expand Rochester’s mission to make our communities and our world “ever better”—now and in the future.

My immediate goal is to listen and learn from all of you—on campus and around the country. You recognize our strengths, and you see where we can do better. You know our past and our potential.

I want to hear your ideas: together, we can set a course that is grounded in our storied history and directed toward our bright prospects.

Contact President Mangelsdorf at Follow her on Instagram: @urochestermangelsdorf.