Dear University of Oregon community,
As we prepare to close out spring term and celebrate commencement, I would like to congratulate all our graduates and thank every member of our campus community for your contributions and efforts this year.
I know that this year has been a challenging one for many of you. I am both impressed and grateful for the way you surmounted these challenges. I am also extremely proud of all that we achieved together. We overcame many obstacles presented by the pandemic to make this year a success. We returned to in-person instruction, research, and experiences. It wasn’t always easy, but in doing this we reaffirmed our mission of being one of the nation’s finest residential learning and research environments.
This fall, we welcomed our largest, most diverse, and academically prepared incoming class of students. We also opened the new DeNorval Unthank Jr. Hall with its beautiful student welcome center and exceptional dining facilities. We celebrated the end of our fundraising campaign that smashed through the original $2 billion goal with a closing total of $3.25 billion. And we began planning the second phase of the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.
In winter, we launched The Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health, a perfect melding of our research, teaching, and service missions. And, in so doing, we recommitted ourselves to solving one of the most difficult social problems of our time. In addition to the Ballmer Institute, we continued to make progress on academic and research initiatives in extremely important areas such as the environment, diversity and inclusion, innovation and entrepreneurship, data science, global studies and languages, and sport and wellness.
This spring we affirmed our strategic priorities of supporting student success, creating a diverse and inclusive campus, and improving the world through impactful research and applied science. Looking ahead, in July, we will welcome the top track and field athletes in the world to Hayward Field for the World Athletics Championships—an opportunity to showcase our world-class university, conduct important research, and provide enrichening experiences for our students.
Finally, in a few days, we’ll cheer on the nearly 5,000 graduates who earned degrees this year at a very special commencement that will also welcome back the classes of 2021 and 2020 for the ceremony.
I am deeply grateful for each of you being part of our University of Oregon community. I hope you will have an enjoyable and restful summer…you deserve it! I also hope you can take the opportunity to reflect on this year and savor the challenges you overcame and all that you achieved both as an individual and as part of a community.
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law