Dear Campus Community,
I am returning to the office today after spending the week participating in commencement at Toyota Arena. For our largest-ever commencement celebrations, more than 50,000 attendees cheered the graduates who crossed the stage. Earlier this month, we also had an opportunity to celebrate with the School of Medicine’s newest MDs and confer degrees at the Graduate Division ceremony.
Though commencement means “a beginning or start” in recognition of those beginning their post-graduation lives, for those of us who work at UC Riverside, June signals both an ending of one academic year and start of the next. This year we have reason to celebrate both.
As I wrote in my campus message on June 1, we will soon join the Association of American Universities, better known as the AAU. The invitation to become a member of this exceptional organization of 71 top research universities did not happen by chance. We aspired and worked toward the profile of an AAU university, achieving excellence in research and student success. Our membership officially begins July 1, 2023.
We end one year having achieved great successes and begin our new academic year positioned for more. In the same spirit that we celebrate graduates, we move toward our new beginning as an AAU university. This achievement arrives not only after proving our strengths in research and student success but also after persevering through challenges.
Over the last 12 months, we continued to work through pandemic impacts, adjusting as conditions changed and finally, returning to a campus rhythm that resembled our lives before COVID-19 upended the world. Through it all, this resilient, talented, and hard-working community created and shared new knowledge.
Some of you recruited, admitted, advised, taught, sheltered, fed, and attended to the health and wellness of our bold-hearted and brilliant-minded students. Others across our research enterprise tested, analyzed, collaborated, debated, critiqued, treated patients, and sought new answers. Many individuals advocated for UCR, informed the public about our abilities and findings, and sought funding to advance our mission. Behind the scenes, teams in grounds-keeping and facilities, UCPD, human resources, financial services, building development, and information technology kept our campus running smoothly, providing a place where we could connect and bond.
To every one of you, I offer my heartfelt gratitude. You impact many lives on and off campus, in our region and throughout the world, with the work you do. I am both humbled and proud to call you my colleagues. As we end one year and commence another, thank you for your contributions and commitment to UCR.
P.S. Don’t forget to join us in celebrating Associate Chancellor Christine Victorino as she steps down from her role on June 30. To recognize all she has done at UCR, we invite those who worked with her to an Appreciation Mixer this Monday, June 26 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at The Barn. Please register to attend.