To our graduates
First and foremost, congratulations!
I look forward to this time of year, as the spring brings vibrant colors to campus and a sense of renewal and optimism. But I write this note with mixed emotions. As chancellor, some of my most memorable times at UIC have been those spent interacting with students. You are the reason I take such pride in my job, and saying goodbye to those graduating is bittersweet for me.
This is an exciting time in your life and you have worked hard — sometimes through very difficult obstacles — to achieve your goals. You deserve to celebrate! But please remember that you will always be part of the UIC family and I hope that you will reflect on your time at UIC with joy and accomplishment.
UIC faculty and staff work tirelessly to provide you with the finest education so you can flourish in whatever career path you take. And others are taking notice. This year, UIC rose into the top 200 Universities in the world in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, based on our success in teaching, research, knowledge transfer, and international outlook. This is an outstanding achievement and we should all celebrate.
Even though we are in challenging financial times, we continue to enroll and educate more students such as you, and conduct cutting-edge research that gains international recognition. We continue to provide excellent health care services and to support the surrounding communities, the city, and the state in numerous ways. And we continue to set the national standard for comprehensive diversity and inclusion.
The success of our students has always been and will continue to be our first priority. We are working to continuously improve the student experience, to modernize the physical infrastructure of our campus, and to create life-long learning opportunities to solve real world problems.
I want to personally thank each and every one of you for choosing UIC. We invite you to return to campus as often as possible, to visit your favorite faculty and staff members, to interact with the future generations of students, to see an outstanding musical or theatrical production at the UIC Theatre, or take in a sporting event or educational symposium. This was not only your home while you were a student here, but we want you to call it home for the rest of your life. You will be missed.
Good luck with all your future endeavors. I am confident that you will achieve wonderful things and continue making us proud.