Tuesday, May 2, 2023

The end of the academic year gives us a special opportunity to look both forward and back.

Looking ahead, we celebrate our graduates and wish them well in the new lives awaiting them. Commencement is a university’s most important ritual, marking the completion of our students’ educational journey, leading to new paths of success and service. So congratulations to all our graduates! We are proud of your accomplishments and eager to see what becoming Iowa alumni brings you in life.

Looking back over the past year, we commend all our students for their learning and achievements, as well as the outstanding work of our faculty and staff. Amidst the many challenges we face, our university’s progress and accomplishments speak to the strength and resilience of the Hawkeye family. We have much to be proud of in the past year, including increasing our enrollment, growing external research support, and expanding our culture of distinction. Celebrating our first Transformational Faculty Hiring Program appointment and the second round of Mid-Career Faculty Scholar Awards, as well as our first Highly Prestigious Faculty Award Investiture, are some of the many high points for me. I would count a trip to Dallas for the Women’s Basketball NCAA Final Four and a historic championship game in there too! These achievements reflect our comprehensive excellence and the collective efforts of faculty, staff, and students who strive for the best.

I am also incredibly proud of our growing support for the health and well-being of our entire university community. Although we all have work to do this summer—and I know it is among the busiest times of the year for some—I encourage everyone to take time for rest, relaxation, and reconnection during the warm season ahead. I plan to do just that, starting with a trip to California to celebrate our daughter’s graduation. I hope you will join me in finding time to refresh. A rejuvenated university community will help us start the fall semester strong, ready for another academic year of excellence and achievement.

Thank you for all you have done this past year, and I look forward to our next chapter together.

With best wishes and gratefulness,

Barbara J. Wilson