University of Vermont

Former President Daniel Mark Fogel

Welcome to UVM

August 28, 2009

Dear Students New to UVM,

Welcome one and all to The University of Vermont! As new members of this extraordinary academic community, you are embarking on what promises to be a marvelous educational and personal odyssey. During your college years you will make lifelong friends, encounter new experiences that excite and challenge you, and, with hard work and active engagement, enjoy intellectual adventures that have the potential to transform your life and your view of the world. UVM is a special place. We couldn’t be happier that you are now a part of it.

As excited as you must be as you cross the threshold into so much that will be new, I know that in the days and weeks to come there will be moments when many (perhaps most) of you will feel overwhelmed, anxious, and a bit lost. I hope that knowing that such feelings are normal will in and of itself be calming, but please know, too, that there are dedicated faculty and staff throughout UVM who are here to help. No question is too large, too small, or too mundane, and as you settle into your new life at UVM I urge you to seek answers whenever you need information, directions, help, or advice. We are here for you, and we will do our best to get you the information and guidance you need to get off to a good start.

I also urge you to be active in exploring the many opportunities that lie before you. Please see Opening for a complete schedule of opening weekend activities, and visit the UVM web site regularly to keep up with the wide array of lectures, performances, movies, museum shows, athletic events, and other activities that enrich the life of the campus (a great place to start is the “All Campus Events” calendar at Calendar of Events). Take advantage of the chance to participate in the 150 or so student organizations funded by the Student Government Association, and of the many opportunities for hands-on learning, including the undergraduate research experiences that can be a huge asset as you apply for jobs or to graduate and professional schools in a few years.

I am looking forward to seeing all of you together—probably for the first and last time till your graduation ceremonies four years from now—on Sunday for the Convocation that will usher in the new academic year. As you know, the keynote speaker will be Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, your required summer reading. I expect Mr. Kidder’s talk to be informative, inspirational, and even thrilling. And I have always found “thrilling” to be the right descriptor for what happens right after Convocation, when, paced by Taiko drummers on flatbed trucks at the head and tail of the procession, we walk many thousand strong down the four lanes of Main Street to the University Green for the Class of 2013 Twilight Induction Ceremony.

I cannot close without sharing with you my fervent hope that, as you explore all of your many options, you will make good choices in what you decide to do and in how you take care of yourself and one another. Just as we expect you to be active in pursuing your own intellectual and personal development, we urge you actively to look out for your own wellbeing and that of those around you. Respecting yourself and others is a hallmark of UVM articulated more fully in our Think-Care-Act Campaign (please see Think Care Act).

Again, a heartfelt welcome to UVM! I wish each one of you the very best as you begin this exciting adventure. Your success is important, both to you and to your University. I encourage you take advantage of the wonderful opportunities UVM offers to make your college experience memorable, rewarding, and happy in every way. We’ll see you Sunday.

With every good wish,
Daniel Mark Fogel

cc: UVM Faculty and Staff

Last modified August 29 2009 12:54 PM

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