Back to Campus 2024

Dear CMC Campus Community:

Happy New Year to each of you and yours. I hope you all had a wonderful winter break and a reflective Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Theo’s back! He missed everyone. Priya and I did, too. We are all eager to see you. For the Class of 2027 students and new transfers that we haven’t met, we’re especially excited to connect. Please join us at Ath Tea this afternoon from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. on the North Patio. We look forward to catching up later today, and throughout the semester with faculty, students, and staff at gatherings on campus, at our house, and in the Village. Look for forthcoming invitations from the president’s office.

I am grateful for all of the dedication, perseverance, and support from our campus community through these past six months, especially the moments that tested us all. We are indebted to Acting President Sharon Basso, Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Dean of the Faculty Heather Antecol, the entire President’s Executive Cabinet, and our student body and staff, as well as to Chair David Mgrublian ’82 P’11 and the Board of Trustees, for their leadership.

Many congratulations on so many outstanding individual and group accomplishments this past fall, including:

  • critically important research, recognition, and interviews on the biggest issues of the day from our distinguished faculty;
  • our fourth Rhodes Scholar in CMC’s history, and second since 2021, Bertha Tobias ’23, who graduated in December and will be pursuing two Master of Science degrees at the University of Oxford; and
  • the first national title in program history for our CMS men’s water polo team, a thrilling semifinal run by our CMS women’s volleyball team in front of the home crowd at Roberts Pavilion, and a fourth place finish by the CMS women’s cross country team in one of the closest championship races ever.

Following the conclusion of our record-breaking Campaign for CMC: Responsible Leadership, I’m eager to catch up on our progress and support the advancement of key projects and initiatives:

  • the construction of the Robert Day Sciences Center and expansion of the Kravis Department of Integrated Sciences;
  • our opportunity programs, including the Soll Center for Student Opportunity, the Kravis Opportunity Fund, the CARE Center, and many others; and
  • our Athenaeum, with its outstanding spring schedule to be released soon, and The Open Academy, which is so vitally important, especially in our current moment.

I encourage you all to attend the Ath’s annual MLK commemorative lecture on January 25. This year’s speaker is Corey D. B. Walker, a professor of humanities, director of African American Studies, and dean of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

As a modest way of thanking you all, I would like to share my artwork (below), inspired by the campus installation of Pae White’s Qwalala in mid-quad. I also composed a few lines of haiku to accompany my digital treatment.

Have a wonderful first day of classes. Theo, Priya, and I look forward to seeing you this afternoon!

All very best,



clay bricks, walls high cold
world’s centrifuge spits us out
to choose sides, blind eyes

warm sun through glass, we
pass through lines offense defense
I now see you, us

Owalala Artwork

Photo credit: Watchara Phomicinda