Dear SU students,

As we celebrate the first official day of the 2018–2019 academic year at Southwestern, I welcome back our returning students. It’s been a quiet summer without you, so I’m glad to see our campus again bustling with intellectual energy and thoughtful anticipation. And to our first-year and transfer students: welcome home! I hope you have already started connecting with new friends, faculty, and staff during New Student Orientation and are looking forward to this next chapter of your educational journey.

As I reflect on all that Southwestern has accomplished during the last few years, I feel proudest of the breakthrough curriculum our faculty developed—one that empowers you to take greater ownership of your learning and to create a more meaningful and personalized education. We’ve expanded Paideia and continue to share our discoveries of those surprising connections between the humanities, social sciences, fine arts, and natural sciences; between theory and application; between the classroom and the Cove, athletic field, or stage.

As we look toward the future, I’m especially excited to see the birth of our Mosaic program, in which you’ll have the opportunity to shape your future not just through coursework but also throughout residence and student life. Relish those moments of personal growth as you puzzle through your research, build experience in your internships, and discover new worlds abroad; they are a joyful means to deeper understanding, genuine intellectual curiosity, creativity, and original thought.

This fall, we’re welcoming three new tenure-track faculty into our ranks of nationally recognized teachers and scholars. We’ll celebrate the launch of our new Center for Career and Professional Development, that will enhance our award-winning support as you prepare for a life after graduation. And throughout the year, you’ll also see progress on the second half of our Fondren-Jones Science Center expansion, our commitment in stone to interdisciplinary collaboration and research. It’s an excellent time to be a Pirate.

As you head back to the residence halls, classrooms, athletic fields, performance stages, labs, studios, and even the Commons, I invite you to accept this challenge: Be an engaged, open-minded contributor to our community and a thoughtful citizen of the world. Respect each other, and demonstrate empathy as you broaden your worldview and engage with those having ideas, backgrounds, and experiences different from your own.

Your undergraduate journey is just part of your intellectual, professional, and personal growth, but please remember that the entire Southwestern community is here to support you as you embrace the practices of mind and heart that will serve you well beyond the limestone buildings of our historic institution.

I wish you an inspired academic year and look forward to seeing you around campus—hope you’ll always say, “Hello!”

Sincerely yours,
President Burger.
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Edward B. Burger
President and Professor