September 5, 2018

Dear Students and Colleagues,

It is with great enthusiasm that I welcome you to the new academic year. While some of you are returning to familiar surroundings, others, like me, are newcomers to UM-Dearborn. Together we are embarking on an exciting new year!

The opportunity to spend time on a major university campus, studying what interests you, creating new knowledge to address challenges and opportunities that face the region, the nation, and the planet, and, most importantly, engaging in the great debates that define our times, is both an immense privilege and a major responsibility.

By virtue of these efforts, we collectively define the future. Our students, who will transition to our graduates, will become leaders in corporate, governmental, professional, community service, and non-governmental organizations where their UM-Dearborn preparation will serve them well in devising holistic solutions to complex issues. Similarly, our distinguished faculty and staff are working toward addressing some of the most perplexing and vexing challenges facing our community and our nation while educating and supporting our students in their academic aspirations. 

To be sure, for us to maximize our impact we must dare mightily -

Dare to ask questions so we can truly understand

Dare to follow our passion and break new ground

Dare to stand up for justice and equity and vanquish threats to both

Dare to create new technologies and policies in the interest of humanity and the planet

Dare to climb the ladder of success and not pull it up behind us but rather extend it down even further

As is well known, UM-Dearborn was founded as an experimental campus - Daring is in our DNA. But daring is not for the faint of heart. President Theodore Roosevelt inspiringly remarked that “far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." Do not fear failure...like a caring family, your campus community is here to support you and pick you up should you fail. This is your time to dare.

I will leave you with your first dare. If you see me on campus, come up and introduce yourself. Tell me what attracted you to UM-Dearborn, tell me what you hope for in life, tell me your plans and dreams…I dare you. 

Domenico Grasso
Chancellor

P.S. - Please follow me on Twitter, @ChanceGrasso. I look forward to engaging with you both in-person and through social media this semester. 

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