Office of the President

September 28, 2020

Welcome to the new academic year, wherever you are

Ana Mari Cauce

You’re invited

Join President Cauce for her Annual President’s Address, where she will discuss her priorities and vision for the University of Washington in these challenging times.

Monday, October 12
10-11 a.m.

How to watch

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Welcome to the start of the new academic year! Whether you are a returning member of our University of Washington community or joining us for the first time, we’re so pleased that you are part of the Husky pack. Even as the pandemic makes this fall unlike any other, I can’t help but feel the same excitement and sense of possibility as in years past. The year ahead holds discoveries, successes and achievements yet unknown, and I am more grateful than ever to be embarking on this new chapter with all of you.

This fall, we are welcoming thousands of new first-year, transfer, graduate and professional students who will enrich our community as they join colleagues already on their academic journeys. Yesterday’s annual convocation ceremony, held virtually this year, was a joyous occasion for welcoming our incoming students and their families. We are celebrating the excellence that is the UW’s defining characteristic, from award-winning faculty members to new outposts of scientific inquiry. Across the University, we continue to lead in efforts to mitigate and solve the COVID-19 crisis, including the development of innovative tests and testing strategies, outstanding research that may lead to effective vaccines and treatments, and cutting-edge methods for tracking the progression of the virus. Next month, our Population Health Initiative will mark an important milestone with the completion of the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health. And across our community, we are dedicated to continuing the work necessary to honor our commitment to anti-racism, equity and inclusion.

Of course, we all hope our state and nation get back to the conditions that will enable more in-person instruction and activities. By following the 3 W’s – Wear a mask, Wash your hands, Watch your distance — and participating in Husky Coronavirus Testing, we can each do our part to reduce the impact of the pandemic so we can get there as soon as possible.

In the meantime, I am so proud of our community’s collective commitment to pursuing access and excellence, wherever and however we achieve it, whether from our homes or on our campuses in Bothell, Tacoma or Seattle. And I’m grateful for the work that has gone into preparing our campuses and online learning environments for the fall. From instructors and academic staff, to the teams providing teaching and technology support, to all those helping keep our housing and dining facilities safe and healthy, to too many people to mention — thank you. Because of you, this fall, like those before it, will be full of the magic that happens when students, teachers and mentors share knowledge and spark new ideas.

Wherever you are, I hope you will seek out ways to get involved and to indulge your intellectual curiosity. I encourage you to ask questions — and ask for help when you need it. And I hope you’ll treat each other with compassion and kindness during these challenging times. As we look to the future, I invite you to join me on October 12 via livestream for my Annual President’s Address to our community. I’ll share my thoughts about the year ahead and answer your questions.

Through our shared pursuit of knowledge and discovery, and our commitment to advancing the public good, I know that there is no community better prepared to contribute to the better world we all desire.

I look forward to a wonderful year together — even if some of it will be spent 6 feet apart.