University of Vermont

A Note from President Tom Sullivan

September 2017

Another school year is underway, and all around campus I see offices and departments in full swing as we welcome our students to this new semester of academic discovery and personal growth and learning. No matter what Department you are in or where you invest your energies on a daily basis at UVM, each one of our more than 3,000 staff colleagues plays an important part in making our campus a welcoming and rich environment for learning and living. 

At Convocation last Sunday, I encouraged our new students to open their minds—to new experiences, to unfamiliar subjects, to divergent viewpoints—and to fully engage in the rich academic and cultural offerings on campus and in town. The Our Common Ground values that guide our UVM community create a framework for modeling the best of what an engaged, educated citizen can be. Your connection with our students, whether in your excellent work every day or a smile in passing, are part of this modeling and go a long way to deepening the feeling of inclusion and welcome. Thank you for your exemplary attention to our students and the student experience at UVM.

I hope that each of you, too, will take advantage of the rich cultural and academic offerings on campus this year. A host of guest lecturers—including First-Year-Read author Matt Richtel (A Deadly Wandering); George D. Aiken Lecturer Michael Moss, author of Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us; and Marsh Professor-at-Large J. Lorand Matory, collector behind the Fleming Museum’s Fall exhibit Spirited Things: Sacred Arts of the Black Atlantic—will ignite important campus conversations in which we can all take part. Cultural opportunities through The Lane Series, Royall Tyler Theatre, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and numerous other campus offerings will provide opportunities throughout the year for enrichment and enjoyment with other members of the UVM community.

Each autumn we celebrate the contributions of our UVM staff with a week of activities and recognition events. I hope to see you at the kickoff event on Monday, September 11th, the Staff Appreciation Social and Lunch on the Green. It will be my pleasure to thank you personally, then, for all of your dedication and excellent work and contributions that make UVM such a special community within which to learn, work, and grow.