Welcome, Class of 2024
Welcome back returning students, faculty, and staff!
You are probably hearing daily messages about how this academic year is like no other – unprecedented – and that is true. With the convergence of the global COVID-19 pandemic, repeated assaults on Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities, community resistance and protest, closing borders, and a volatile electoral campaign in the US with consequences way beyond its shores, it is a time of uncertainty, turmoil, enormous challenges – and, yes, possibilities.
I hope that in the future, we will be able to talk about the troubling and unusual circumstances of this time, social distancing, classes with masks, and virtual engagement with pride at our resilience, creativity, bravery, and innovation.
In this extraordinary, painful, and critical time we are fortunate to be part of the Liberal Studies academic community – no matter if we are here in person or remotely. For ours is a space of knowledge creation, sharing, and exchange. Liberal Studies gives us a framework for addressing these pressing concerns from the pandemic to police violence and mass incarceration to climate change and statelessness. It teaches us that we cannot turn away from these challenges nor escape the hurt, rage, and outrage at injustice. Our community is an incredible incubator of change and innovation.
I know that you all will amaze me this academic year with your enthusiastic spirit of inquiry and dedication to learning. While most co-curricular activities this fall will be virtual, the result will be more opportunities for engagement than ever before: from Big Ideas Course Series and NYU Reads, to virtual lectures, forums, and spaces for advocacy and activism. We will be celebrating and critically interrogating the 100th Anniversary of Womxn’s Suffrage, facilitating conversations about global racism, assessing our global curriculum, promoting voter registration campaigns, and helping preserve the precious right to vote.
Last academic year, students in both the LS Core and GLS garnered awards across campus for leadership and civic engagement, prestigious scholarships and fellowships, and recognition for original research and creative productions in the face of many challenges. Faculty continued to publish works and incorporate new approaches to asynchronous learning and educational technologies. Staff won the top awards for service and innovation, demonstrating the Liberal Studies commitment to excellence in all that we do.
I expect that this year you will continue these successful trajectories confirming the exceptional quality of academic and civic engagement distinctive of Liberal Studies. Despite all of the challenges, I know that we will inspire one another and make a difference together.