Welcome Message – Spring 2016
January 19, 2016
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
Welcome to the 2016 Spring Semester at the Springfield campus of the University of Illinois! Today’s temperature certainly reminds us we’re in the heart of winter but, despite the frigid weather, I hope you’re looking forward, as I am, to the opportunities ahead during the coming term.
Many members of our academic community started the semester yesterday by participating in Springfield’s 41st recognition of Martin Luther King Day. My congratulations to Dr. Mark Dochterman, Director of the UIS Center for Volunteer and Civic Engagement, as well as to the 130+ UIS students who commemorated the legacy of Dr. King by participating in a day of service volunteering in the community. I can’t think of a better way to honor the memory of one of our country’s greatest leaders.
I hope you will join me in offering an especially warm welcome to students who are new arrivals to our campus this Spring semester, including international students who are adjusting to a new culture as well as to new academic challenges. I hope you’ll be mindful that creating a positive and supportive culture on campus is everyone’s responsibility – students, faculty and staff. A smile, a friendly “Hello,” or a helping hand can go a long way toward making someone feel welcome and a part of our community.
With hundreds of course offerings being launched this week, both on campus and online, UIS faculty will again be providing exceptional learning opportunities. I encourage students to invest your efforts deeply in this abundance of opportunities to learn and prepare for your future. The mission of the University of Illinois – to transform lives and serve society – is alive and thriving across our campus thanks to the contributions of faculty and staff who truly put students first.
In addition to course offerings, the Spring 2016 semester will offer many other opportunities for leadership, engagement, learning and just plain enjoyment. Have you ever attended a basketball game in the TRAC? Have you seen a Broadway show in Sangamon Auditorium? Have you attended a UIS Theatre or Music production? How about an ECCE Speaker’s Series event? Whether you are a student, a faculty member or a staff member, I hope you’ll make this semester the one when you try a few things new! There is no shortage of ways to be involved, stretch your boundaries a bit, and take advantage of campus life to its fullest.
Dr. King said: “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.” With that thought in mind, I wish you a semester filled with intensive thinking!