A Message from the President: Fall 2021 Welcome

Office of the President

Dear Graduate Center community,

Welcome back to the Graduate Center!

When I came to the Graduate Center one year ago, I joined an unusual club: college and university presidents who started their roles during a pandemic, with our campuses closed. After a year of physical distancing and Zoom, I can’t wait to see you in person.

This year feels like a new beginning as we get back to the rhythm of classes, colloquia, and labs. More than half of our classes will be conducted either fully or partially in-person. I encourage everyone to review the health protocols we have put in place as part of the Campus Reopening Plan. Each of us can support not only our own health and safety, but also those of others in our community, by taking responsibility for following the campus vaccination and testing protocols, wearing masks, and maintaining physical distancing when required.

Please join me in thanking our essential employees whose dedication throughout the past year has kept us moving forward. I am also grateful for the ingenuity, agility, commitment, and spirit of our staff, faculty, administrators, and students. Together, you have made it possible for the Graduate Center to succeed through the many challenges we have faced.

Today, we officially welcome our new Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Steve Everett, to the Graduate Center. Steve brings a deep commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship and strong leadership experience. You will have a chance to learn more about him at a special meet-and-greet event this fall. Information about that event and a fall town hall meeting will be sent in September.

We mark our return to the Graduate Center by celebrating our strengths and building on what we have learned.

When you come back to the Graduate Center, you will see something new. In the large lobby windows facing East 34th Street, we are showcasing what makes the Graduate Center special: extraordinary research by our students. Please take a moment to look, scan the QR codes, and learn more about the 2021 Images of Research exhibition. I am grateful to New York City Council member and alumnus Keith Powers (M.A. ’13, Political Science) for providing the support that has enabled us to share our students’ research directly with the public.

Our public programming flourished online last year, with many events attracting attendees around the world. Our fall program will be online as well, making it easily accessible. We have a great lineup of wide-ranging topics that include reflecting on the impact of Occupy Wall Street 10 years later, reforming the police and making communities safe, and the future of quantum computing.

This year turns out to be a new beginning, as well, for some baby seagulls whose parents liked our prime location so much that they made their nest on the roof of 365 Fifth Avenue. The parents clearly recognized the spirit of community that is a hallmark of the Graduate Center, and brought their family and friends to join them throughout the summer. We wish them all a safe journey back to the shore.

Guided by our creativity, core mission, and purpose, we met the challenges of the last year with agility, humanity, and resolve. Thank you. I look forward to the transformative work we will do together in the year ahead.

With best wishes,

Robin L. Garrell

Submitted on: AUG 25, 2021

Category: GCstories | General GC News | President's Office - Community Message