Message to the Community

President Maric welcomes new and returning students

UConn journalism professor Marie Shanahan leads her "Portfolio I: Multimedia Skills" class in Oak 472 on the first day of classes for the Fall 2023 semester

UConn journalism professor Marie Shanahan leads her "Portfolio I: Multimedia Skills" class in Oak 472 on the first day of classes for the Fall 2023 semester on Aug. 28, 2023. (Sydney Herdle/UConn Photo)

To the UConn Community:

Welcome to the start of the fall 2023 semester!

For those of you who have been away for the summer, it’s a pleasure to have you back. And we welcome many new faces as well, including the Class of 2027, which comprises 4,200 new first year students in Storrs and 1,600 first year students across our regional campuses at Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury. Together, they come from 156 of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns and represent 43 U.S. states and 92 countries across the globe, reminding us that we are a state institution with a global reach.

On behalf of all our students and faculty, I would like to express our collective gratitude to UConn’s professional staff, many of whom are on our campuses year-round, and especially to those colleagues who prepared the university to fully open for the new semester and helped thousands of students move into our residence halls this past week. From Residential Life and Dining Services to Learning Communities, Facilities Operations, and University Safety, among many others, it was truly a team effort.

To our students: At UConn, you will receive support from our faculty, staff, and administration and learn to ask new questions that push the limits of your vision, understanding, and creativity. Here in this environment, you will meet new people and develop your potential by learning and challenging yourself in the classroom and in many activities outside the classroom.

UConn will foster your academic and professional growth through more than 115 majors and minors. We are going to prepare you for a lifelong journey by working with you to develop, harness, and ignite your creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, emotional intelligence, and critical life skills such as financial literacy. Our goal is to empower everyone to reach their full potential to solve problems, live a meaningful life, and to change the world for the better. This university has been preparing students like you for this journey for more than 140 years!

Together we must contend with the great challenges of our time: the climate emergency and its devastating impacts; inequities in education, health, and prosperity; social justice; human rights; and armed conflict and violence across the globe. Every day our faculty, students, and staff are hard at work engaging on these issues and many others, making vital contributions to the university’s vision, strengths, and strategic priorities as they do.

You will learn from us, and we will learn from you. Research, education, and entrepreneurship at UConn go beyond science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; they transcend classrooms, laboratories, and campuses. The transformational impact of research, education, scholarship, and creative work in liberal arts and sciences is essential to the mission of a top public flagship institution such as UConn and essential to generating knowledge, addressing inequities, and ensuring human rights for all.

UConn supports not only the education of the mind but also of the heart, and we prepare you to lead the world with empathy, compassion, and resilience. This is a university where people respond to cynicism with sincerity, kindness, hard work, and determination. We want to be the best version of ourselves and be the kind of leaders who never forget where we came from. We strive to make a difference everywhere — whether it is locally or globally.

Throughout your learning process, don’t be afraid to ask questions; be a great listener and challenge yourself. Look for mentors and advisers. No matter how busy our faculty and staff are, they are here for you, and they are more than happy to give you their time and attention. There will be challenges, but they can be overcome by taking inspiration from our values, committing to excellence and each other, fully engaging in all the university has to offer, and taking action.

Please don’t forget to stay in touch with your loved ones; they need to know that you are safe and doing well.

And we want to hear from you, too. We encourage you to come to the president’s regular monthly office hours or reach out through the president’s Instagram or Twitter. We want to shine a light on all the wonderful things happening here at UConn.

Let’s work hard, take care of ourselves and one another, and always celebrate our fellow Huskies any way we can, doing everything from attending a student concert or play being performed on one of our campuses to cheering for our amazing student-athletes as they compete – no matter what, it’s all about Husky pride.

Have fun, and we can make the world a better place together!

Leading with joy and love for all,

Radenka Maric
UConn President

Anne D’Alleva
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Nathan Fuerst
Vice President for Student Life and Enrollment