Welcome Message – Spring 2015

January 20, 2015

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Welcome to the UIS 2015 Spring Semester! Today’s weather in Springfield, Illinois, which feels more like March than January, is one of many reasons to think positive about the upcoming term!

I enjoyed the start of the semester yesterday by participating in Springfield’s 40th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast where I had the honor of introducing the guest speaker. The MLK Breakfast is always an important event and it was wonderful to be among the hundreds of members of the Springfield community, many of whom are UIS alumni and supporters, and be reminded of the ideals that guided the life of this great American hero.

My congratulations to Mark Dochterman, Director of the UIS Center for Volunteer and Civic Engagement, and the nearly 100 UIS students who spent Martin Luther King Day volunteering in the community. What a great way to honor Dr. King’s legacy.

I hope you will join me in offering an especially warm welcome to students who are new arrivals at UIS this Spring semester, including many international students who are adjusting to a new culture as well as to new academic challenges. With more than 1,100 course sections being launched this week, both on campus and online, UIS faculty are offering exceptional learning opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. I encourage students to invest your efforts deeply in this abundance of opportunities to collaborate, learn and prepare for your future.

I hope you’ll also be mindful that we’re all privileged to be part of this academic community and that creating a positive and supportive culture on campus for everyone is everyone’s responsibility – students, faculty and staff. A smile, a “Hello” and a helping hand can go a long way toward making someone feel a part of our community.

In addition to academic courses, the Spring 2015 semester at UIS offers many other opportunities for leadership, engagement and just plain enjoyment on campus and in the community. Whether it’s involvement in student organizations, volunteering, attending men’s and women’s basketball games, participating in Black History Month and Women’s History Month events, attending UIS Theatre or Music performances, or taking in a show at the Sangamon Auditorium Performing Arts Center on campus; there is no shortage of ways to be involved, grow and enjoy campus life to its fullest. And, of course, Springfest in April is an annual highlight of the Spring semester.

The Spring Chancellor-student gathering is already being planned. What will be the featured food? You’ll have to wait for the announcement to find out; but, as always, it will undoubtedly start with a “C”.

Dr. King said: “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of education.” Best wishes for a semester filled with intensive thinking!

Chancellor Koch

Chancellor Susan J. Koch