The start of another fall semester feels routine to many of us, but this year is special. The University of Tulsa is celebrating its 125th anniversary all year long. You might have already seen ads in local magazines or banners around campus touting this tremendous achievement. It’s an exciting time in our university’s history as we build on our legacy of innovation and engagement. I look forward to the coming year, working with each of you, our students and the community at large. Together, we are setting TU on a path that will carry us forward for another 125 years.
One of the TU traditions that I enjoy most is having our faculty and staff on hand to greet families with a smile and help students move in to their campus homes. On an emotional day that signals a new chapter for students and their families, this personal touch creates a reassuring atmosphere. I encourage all of you to join Paula and me on Aug. 18 for a couple of hours. You can volunteer individually or as a team.
Matriculation will be held at 5:30 that evening, at which time the Class of 2023 will be introduced to our academic community. Faculty representatives from each department and program should plan to arrive at the Reynolds Center at 5 p.m. dressed in TU blue and ready to help welcome our newest students.
Together, we have recruited and will welcome our largest domestic group of first-year students. It’s also one of our most diverse freshman classes, representing a broad range of backgrounds, including many first-generation college students. Half hail from cities outside of Oklahoma, and 49% are female. This information is more than just numbers – it represents the heart of the TU Commitment. We all play a part in creating an environment where students feel accepted, engaged, empowered and on a path to self-discovery.
Recent national news has reminded me that our words matter as much as our actions. We want everyone to feel included and to know that their story matters. Our efforts should focus on how to best support students during the upcoming academic year as we reaffirm our commitment to the positive spirit that defines our university. Here’s to celebrating the next 125 years!