Welcome to the Spring 2023 Semester

January 17, 2023

Dear Members of the George Washington University Community,

Welcome to the Spring 2023 semester! We hope you enjoyed happy and healthy holidays and a restful break. We have entered a new year with great enthusiasm for the spring and our work together as a community.

As has been university tradition for many years, we began this week by honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year was very special, as we participated in a discussion event with government leaders and a day of service with Vice President Kamala Harris. The day was an opportunity to consider Dr. King’s lasting impact and relevance to our community. As we reflect on this, we note in particular the importance of our shared community. Beginning this new semester, we believe it is critical to emphasize the vital need for continued work in practicing and supporting the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and their role in creating a better, more just, and equitable society for all. This work is at the heart of Dr. King’s legacy and our academic mission. So, too, is the importance of demonstrating civility, respect, and empathy in our words and actions.

We would do well not only to think deeply about how we interact with and support one another, but also to take active steps to create an environment where all experiences and backgrounds are welcome, and where all feel a sense of belonging. We hope each of you will redouble your efforts to support a strong, shared community this semester.

By now you have likely seen the exciting news from last week announcing Dr. Ellen Granberg as the university’s 19th President. Dr. Granberg was on campus for an event following the announcement and has had an opportunity to meet some of you. She is a collaborative and skilled leader who shared a strong commitment to our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. She will add even more momentum to our university’s upward trajectory when she joins in July.

In the meantime, we have much to accomplish this semester as we continue to strengthen our commitment to academic excellence and our mission of teaching, research, patient care, and service, and accelerate our progress as an institution and impact on the communities we serve.

In the coming months, we will have several important opportunities to come together through initiatives that further strengthen community, including our process to identify a new moniker, events such as the Diversity Summit, and our continued work on the Diversity Program Review. Many efforts also are underway in departments, schools, and divisions across campus. We hope you will take an active role in any opportunities to support community building, whether on our campuses or across D.C.

We look forward to supporting your work and our entire university community. Best wishes for a productive and rewarding spring semester!

Sincerely yours,

Mark S. Wrighton

Christopher Alan Bracey
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Law