If it’s Sunday, it must be London — and it is.  I have just concluded NYU Welcome Week by meeting 85 first-year Liberal Studies students at our London academic center in Bedford Square.

In the past week I’ve welcomed some 1250 Core Program and Global Liberal Studies students in five cities — Florence, London, Paris, Washington DC, and, of course, New York — in as many days.

Frankly, I should be exhausted by this whirlwind tour — but I am not.  I’ve met students from every region of the U.S. and from over 70 countries — all of whom now are part of the Liberal Studies community.  They are bright, they are talented, and they bring to NYU a wealth of diverse backgrounds, interests, and aspirations.

I spoke with students from all over the world — from Albania, Australia, China, Cuba, Germany, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Singapore, and Thailand, and many, many more.   I greeted students from great cities like Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Taipei, and from very small towns in California, Iowa, New Jersey, Texas, and Vermont.  Many of our new students have lived in several countries, and others applied for their first passports and took their first international journeys to join their NYU peers.

As diverse as they are, our students have much in common — their passion to learn and their interest in exploring their new homes.  There is more I could say about them, but soon enough, our students will begin navigating their own journeys through NYU’s global network.  They will soon begin telling their own stories, and I am looking forward to learning more about them.

Core Program Orientation in New York City

Speaking at Core Program Convocation in New York City.

At a university, it is inevitable that the ebb and flow of the year eventually brings us to a new beginning in September. After a quiet summer here on the Square, I always look forward to the busy first days of the fall semester. In LS, we are lucky to have multiple new beginnings, with our students dispersed among NYU’s global sites.

Among my favorite traditions of the new school year:

First-year Away Student Orientations: With hundreds of first-year students beginning their LS education at NYU’s global sites in Florence, London, Paris, and Washington, DC, our orientation programming is not limited to Washington Square. This year, I had the great privilege of personally welcoming new students at four of our five first-year programs.

Welcoming first-year students at NYU Florence

Welcoming first-year students at NYU Florence

NYC Convocation: Back on the Square, our LS Convocation marks the official beginning of a new student’s NYU education; and, it also marks a singular opportunity for the LS Class of 2019 to gather together as a community.  There is nothing to match the energy of 900 Core Program and GLS first-year students gathered together during Welcome Week!


NYC Core Program Convocation at NYU’s Skirball Center

Faces of NYU Welcome Week: Each year I also look forward to the launch of NYU’s Faces of Welcome Week videos, which follow a few students for their first semester at NYU. This year’s video series features five new LS students, beginning their studies in New York, Florence, London, Paris, and Washington, DC. Watch the first video here.

LS Lobby traffic: After the doldrums of late summer, when I often feel I am the only person in the LS offices, I enjoy seeing our common spaces filled with students  — talking amongst themselves, lounging on our lobby couches, reading, and working on our lobby computers. It reminds me each day of the community ties that bind LS.

So, again: Welcome, new students! And to the rest of the LS community – welcome back!