Today marks the beginning of a new year, a new decade and a new era for Brandeis. For my family and me, it is the beginning of a new life. We embrace it to the fullest with commitment, dedication, gratitude and joy.
Since being named president five months ago, I have been privileged to spend time with many in the Brandeis community — students, faculty, staff, alumni and valued friends of this great university. Walking the campus and meeting diverse constituencies, I am inspired by your energy, creativity and faith in this institution.
I am also humbled when I reflect on those who preceded me in this office. Abram Sachar was a visionary and it is an honor to follow him and the six other presidents who achieved so much in the last 62 years to bring us to this place in time. I especially want to thank Jehuda Reinharz for his contributions to Brandeis, and for the assistance he gave me during the transition.
In the days, months and years ahead, I will look to all of you I have met and the many I look forward to meeting for what you personally can bring to our school. I have learned that the essence of Brandeis is the people who embody the spirit of this unique institution in so many ways.
There is much to be done and I am more excited than ever to begin my formal duties. Searches will soon be under way for a new provost, senior vice president for students and enrollment, and dean of arts and sciences. I will immerse myself in the finances of the university, strengthen my relationship with the many generous supporters of Brandeis, deepen my understanding of the academy and all of its rich offerings, and forge connections with undergraduate and graduate students across the university. I also want to promote communication across this community; this blog is one of my early contributions to that effort. I plan to post regularly.
As I said in July, this is an awe-inspiring institution of learning and social commitment, an open and nonsectarian university with a unique position in the world. As we move forward to expand and strengthen our community — the humanities, the arts, the sciences and athletics — may the ideals of our founders find fulfillment through the work we will do together.
Happy New Year from me and my family to you and your family.
President Fred Lawrence