Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Spring is upon us, and it can’t come too soon! I see many students and even some faculty and staff trekking across campus who clearly have given up on their winter coats. 

With the advent of spring, it is a time to recognize our talented faculty, staff, and students. Seven Iowa faculty members were recently named American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) fellows, and four were awarded National Endowment for the Humanities grants. Both of these honors are among the highest achievable in their areas. Day by day, we are hearing about more of our remarkable students earning Fulbright awards for study and teaching abroad.

This week, we will be able join in the annual Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women awards, recognizing the many outstanding contributions of women at the UI (the live virtual event is on April 6 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., Next week, on April 12, we will present some of the highest university honors to students, alumni, staff, and faculty at the annual Finkbine Dinner. And in the coming weeks, especially as we approach commencement, individual colleges, departments, and programs will be presenting awards and honors across the entire campus.

I encourage everyone to join me in celebrating the recognitions that our colleagues and students are enjoying, whether it’s by attending award ceremonies or just by sending a supportive “great job” message.

Amidst all this good news and these celebrations, we also know that much of the world remains troubled, and our university community is certainly impacted. I thank everyone who has reached out to our Ukrainian and Russian students and scholars, as well as to all those affected by the war in Eastern Europe. We are providing support space for UI students from affected countries, assistance to Ukrainian students seeking to get family out of Ukraine, information and advice on visa and immigration status, and more. As a gesture of community support, I invite you to attend a concert on behalf of Ukraine, organized by the Iowa City Ukrainian community and the UI School of Music, in May.

We have six weeks left of the semester, and during this rich time of the academic year, I urge you to look to our achievements—individual and collective—and be gratified by all that we accomplish here at Iowa. In this 175th anniversary year, our springtime accolades show us how much we have achieved as well as the great possibilities our future holds.

Congratulations to all of you on your successes this year, and I look forward to finishing my first academic year at Iowa with excitement, appreciation, and pride.


Barbara J. Wilson