When I delivered commencement remarks yesterday, I shared a story about a British explorer named Sir Ernest Shackleton, who faced numerous challenges while attempting to cross Antarctica. Shackleton and his men were able to overcome these challenges because they had a singular, defining quality — resilience. Today, I will speak again on the theme of resilience. And to begin, I’ll share another story, this one about a different explorer — one who was born here in Albemarle County.
I’ll begin these remarks with a story about a British explorer, a man named Sir Ernest Shackleton. Shackleton led an expedition with an ambitious goal: he attempted to cross Antarctica from sea to sea, via the South Pole, which is a journey of about 1,800 miles. Shackleton and his crew set out in August 1914, just one century before most of you entered UVA.
Good afternoon. I’m pleased to have this opportunity to meet with our retired faculty members and your spouses and guests.
Thank you to Phil Chase and his fellow officers of the Retired Faculty Association for the work they do to keep this group connected to the University.
I’m grateful to all of our retired faculty members for your years of service at UVA. I’m also grateful to the spouses who are here today. Thank you for sharing your husbands and wives with us during their careers at UVA.
University of Virginia Statement Regarding City Report
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Dec. 1, 2017 — The University of Virginia issued the following statement today regarding the “Independent Review of the 2017 Protest Events in Charlottesville, Virginia” report. The report, commissioned by the City of Charlottesville, was released earlier today.
Thank you, Shilpi. I’m delighted to be with all of you today.
I understand that several of my UVA colleagues have visited and spoken to this group in the last few years, including several UVA deans and faculty members. Thank you for inviting my colleagues and making them feel welcome in the Shanghai business community.
As you may know, UVA has been an AmCham Shanghai corporate member since 2015, and Justin O’Jack, who leads UVA’s China Office, serves as vice chair of the Chamber’s Education Committee.
I would like to begin with a fundamental question: What is a world-class university? How do we define “world-class”? Looking beyond the criteria used in the global ranking systems, what are the qualities that distinguish a university as being among the best in the world? Every nation on earth wants to have world-class universities; several national governments have publicly committed to develop a specific number of world-class universities within a certain time frame. Yet consensus on the definition of a world-class university remains elusive.
I want to begin by thanking the Rector for his words, and I want to echo one of his comments:
Safety is our top priority, as a University and as a community, and it’s my top priority as president. The torch-lit march on our Lawn on August 11 was something darker and more depraved, disguised as a protest march; it was an attack — an attack on our values; an attack on our University; and ultimately an attack on our people.
The work before us now is to learn from what happened and to defend our values, our University, and our people from any such future attacks.