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Northwestern University

Message from Dean Randolph - September 22, 2021

Dear Weinberg College Students,

I would like to wish you the very best for the coming term. The path to this point has been long and arduous for many. We should acknowledge those difficulties as we nonetheless find pleasure and satisfaction in coming together again in Evanston for the beginning of a new academic year. As we return more fully to our beautiful campus, I ask you, as I have asked faculty and staff, to show courtesy and care for others by observing our masking policies, maintaining social distancing when appropriate, carefully monitoring your own health, and adhering to the Expectations and COVID-19 Code of Conduct. An overwhelming number of our community members are vaccinated, which is great news. That said, our community includes individuals with various risk factors that may make them more susceptible to the virus. Others may have loved ones at home who are similarly vulnerable or, as is the case with small children, unvaccinated.

As we make our way through this unpredictable health crisis, the values of our educational model have emerged with great clarity. Through our expansive curriculum, I hope that you too will see how important it is to observe with care, to offer compelling critiques, to reflect on your own position in the formation of knowledge, and to express yourself precisely and persuasively. These practices will not only propel you toward your degrees but also toward meaningful lives.

Your classes should be challenging. Our goal is to offer you one of the best educational experiences in the world. This demands hard work. Nonetheless, should you face difficulties – in your classes or beyond them – remember that you are part of this community. Reach out to your peers, to your advisers, and to your mentors should you need help. Conversely, help others around you. Crises like the one we are in should bring out the best in us. So look around to see whom you can help: share an idea, your time, your attention. We of course want to foster strong self-reliance. Here, we want you to build this on a foundation of community, exchange, collaboration, and mutual respect.

So welcome back, act thoughtfully, and share unstintingly,

Adrian Randolph

Henry Wade Rogers Professor of the Humanities
Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences
Northwestern University

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