President Yager Welcomes the UArts Community Back to Campus for the Fall

Originally sent to students, faculty and staff Aug. 26

To the UArts community,

Each year, I look forward to the start of our fall term, which brings an uplifting sense of optimism and enthusiasm as we prepare for another fruitful academic year of creative exploration. So, as many of you are returning to our campus or setting foot here for the very first time, I write today to welcome you back and welcome you home.

It was particularly exciting to stand on the steps of our historic Hamilton Hall on Tuesday morning and meet the next generation of UArts students as they began to move in and get acquainted with our creative campus. Their joy, and the joy of their families, was truly inspiring, and I cannot wait to see where their artistic ventures lead them.

As the fall term officially begins today, I’d also like to thank our faculty and staff, who have worked tirelessly to realize this moment. The work you continue to do in our learning spaces and across our campus dramatically impacts our students’ lives—and the pursuit of human creativity—for the better. Each of you are a vital part of this extraordinary community, and I am deeply grateful for your commitment to UArts.

As we adapt to living and learning in a mask-optional environment as a community, this academic year will certainly look much different than the last few. From what I’ve learned throughout my tenure at UArts, I do not doubt that this community will continue to respond to our circumstances with grace, empathy and a steadfast commitment to one another’s well-being.

Recently, I was asked about my own education, and reflected on the transformative relationships I formed with faculty members and peers, many of whom became mentors and close friends later in life. Those relationships greatly informed my own artistic practice and the trajectory of my career.

This fall, as we broaden the number of activities on campus and moments to connect with one another, including the return of UArts Weekend, I hope you will forge your own lasting bonds and collaborations.

In addition, while our UArts spaces are your home, Philadelphia at large is your endless cultural playground. While you are here, be sure to take advantage of everything this brilliant city offers, from world-class museums and performance venues to the public art and thousands of murals that inspire us daily. Wherever you opt to explore, I am certain you will return refreshed and invigorated.

I wish you a healthy and safe fall term and look forward to seeing you around campus soon.