• Welcome, everyone, to the Spring Town Meeting—my second Spring Town Meeting. As I prepared for this talk, I couldn’t help but reflect on what the last 21 months have been like. So, let me share my observations about those months. My first year as president was really about getting to know RPI, getting to know all of you, including our alumni, and coming to understand your concerns and your aspirations.
  • I am extremely grateful for our leaders in Student Life, Father Larry, our Office of Multicultural Programs, other religious leaders that support our community, and, of course, our student leaders who made this event possible. To those students, I am in awe. I am in awe of your ability to come together and create this event, that helps bring us all together during these incredibly trying times. And, I thank you for sharing those beautiful and moving prayers. 
  • Welcome, everyone, to the 2023 State of the Institute.It’s been a little more than 15 months since I moved back to this campus with Lyn. Much has happened over that time, but perhaps the most important relative to this reunion has been my chance to meet so many alumni. We have amazing alumni, many of whom are deeply committed to supporting RPI. And, as I experienced in my time in leadership at MIT, as I come to know you better, I find myself excited to see you return to campus, and to share thoughts and hopes for our beloved alma mater.
  • Good afternoon, and welcome, everyone, to the Fall Town Meeting, my third Town meeting as President – but who is counting!In preparing for today, I wasn’t sure exactly what to highlight since it seems like so much has happened since we last had a Town Meeting. What I’ve decided to do is to highlight a few areas in my remarks today, and of course I hope that in the Q&A we can discuss topics that are of particular interest to you.
  • Good morning to the remarkable Class of 2023!And good morning to all the remarkable people who supported our graduates on their journey—family, friends, faculty, and staff. You kept them going when the college experience they’d expected was completely reshaped by COVID-19. So, graduates, let me invite you to stand if you wish and turn to those that helped you reach this milestone, and applaud them in thanks!As most of you know, this has been my first year as president. During this time, I’ve heard a lot about the rigorous nature of an RPI education.
  • Well, we’ve seen each other several times over the past few days, but let me NOW formally welcome you to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – the first and longest running technical university in the United States! We are thrilled you are here, and we look forward to getting to know all of you over the next few years. You’ve met Dr. Konwerski, so allow me to introduce the rest of the leadership team working to make sure your student experience at RPI is everything you’re hoping it will be:   
  • Thank you all for coming to my first Spring Town Hall as president of RPI. It is hard to believe that it has been nine months since Lyn and I moved here. In some respects, it feels like the time has flown by, but in other ways, it’s amazing to think of all that has happened in this time. In September we welcomed the largest first year class in the history of RPI (I am happy to let the faculty know that we are on track to have a class size this year which is closer to our annual target of 1650!).
  • I thank all of you for joining for what is the first RPI Town Hall for Lyn and me!I am very happy to have the chance to speak with you at this particular moment. After four intense months of getting to know the 21st century Rensselaer, I feel it is time to start working to address the hopes and challenges you’ve told me about—and to put our collective vision for RPI into action.
  • Wow! I am truly overwhelmed. But, let me begin with some thanks and acknowledgments.Thanks to all of our speakers for your extraordinarily kind words. And welcome, to the delegates from other colleges and universities, and the Armed Forces. I am very grateful to Chairman Golden, our trustees, and the search committee for giving me this amazing opportunity.And, I am very appreciative of the advice Rensselaer’s 18th President, Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, has offered me, and for the many ways that she transformed this university.
  • Welcome back, student-athletes! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of you already and I want to thank you for the warm welcome you’ve given me and Lyn. Being back on campus is really special for us. We are a sports family (maybe not on the field, but certainly in the stands!) and we’re so looking forward to watching you all compete in the amazing athletic venues we have here at Rensselaer. Athletics play an integral role in Rensselaer’s campus life by promoting teamwork and collaborative learning, as well as fostering pride, community, loyalty, and legacy.
  • Welcome to RPI! This is the largest class in Rensselaer history—and the most diverse—and we are looking forward to getting to know all of you. In the fall of 1977, as a first year RPI student, I was in exactly your shoes. In fact, I am a freshman again, starting my first year as President of RPI, after 41 years at MIT. 
  • It is my great pleasure to welcome the parents, family members, and guardians of the Class of 2026, and of the Architects of the Class of 2027. We are thrilled you and your sons and daughters have joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute!
  • Thank you all for joining me for the Welcome Fest kickoff barbecue. This is a special occasion for me, for a couple of reasons. One is that you are my first entering class as the 19th president of RPI. Another is that, back in 1977, I was exactly where you are today. At that point, I was still choosing between electrical engineering and architecture. I could not have imagined that my time here would lead me to MIT, or that my 40 years of experience at MIT would bring me back to lead my alma mater.
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