Speeches and Writings

August 21, 2016

Greetings and Introduction of the Class

To all of the new Wahoos gathered here this evening: welcome to the University of Virginia!

There are about 4,300 of you in this entering class. You may know a few classmates who came from your home town. And maybe you’ve made some new friends this weekend. But for the most part, you’re strangers to each other. To help you get acquainted, let me tell you a bit about yourselves …

August 20, 2016

Greetings and Welcome

Good afternoon. I’m Teresa Sullivan, and I have the honor to serve as the president of UVA.

I want to thank the Hullabahoos for performing for us. This is just one of many a cappella groups on Grounds. If your son or daughter enjoys singing and performing, he or she may want to audition to join one of these groups. Information about them is available on the UVA web site.

June 4, 2016

Welcome, and thank you all for coming to Charlottesville for Reunions Weekend. It’s a pleasure for me to welcome our Reunion classes and the members of the Thomas Jefferson Society back to Grounds.

When UVA alumni come back for Reunions weekend, many of you tell me how much you enjoy returning to Charlottesville — to walk the Grounds again, take in views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and stop by your old haunts from your student days. Thomas Wolfe said, “You can’t go home again,” but UVA alumni know better. You can come home to these Grounds, and it always feels wonderful.

June 1, 2016

Good evening. I’m delighted to be with you. My remarks today will focus on diversity as a source of strength for the global economy and for society generally.

The timing for this topic is auspicious, because just two weeks ago, as part of the G7 Summit meetings, Education Ministers from Japan, the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, and other nations gathered in Japan, in Kurashiki City — and diversity was at the forefront of their discussion.

May 31, 2016

Chairperson Chen, Vice President Shi, distinguished faculty, students, and friends: I am grateful for the invitation to speak to you today. On behalf of my colleagues at the University of Virginia, I bring greetings, and I congratulate you on your celebration of Tsinghua University’s 105th anniversary last month.

May 27, 2016

Superb Faculty

The best measure of a university’s greatness is the quality of its faculty. This is especially true when discussing what makes a university great for its students, because the faculty members are responsible for shaping the students’ learning experience — for better or worse.

May 25, 2016

Good evening. I’m Teresa Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia. This evening we’ve gathered a panel of experts in education and teacher-training to discuss the topic, “Unleashing Creativity and Innovation in a Changing, Interconnected World.”

Creating innovation in education has become an increasingly important global priority, because nations all over the world now recognize that education is essential to economic growth, workforce development, and a strong society.

April 9, 2016

The theme for this annual meeting is “Rekindling the Promise and Purpose of the Presidency.” For all of the hard-working presidents and chancellors gathered this weekend, this theme can serve as an inspirational rallying cry.

But to say that the university presidency needs “rekindling” is to imply something else — that some of the fire may have gone out of higher education leadership in America.

Is this true? And if it is true, what could be the cause?

March 30, 2016

I’m aware that this class has been using the Global Trends 2030 report as a framework for thinking about U.S. policymaking over the next 15 years. So today, we’re going to talk about U.S. higher education and how it might evolve over the next decade or so, by posing several questions:

  • What will be the most pressing public-policy issues for colleges and universities over the next several years?

  • What demographic changes will shape higher education during that period, and how should public policies address those changes?

December 21, 2015

At the time of this writing, in early October 2015, we are only two years from the beginning of UVA’s bicentennial. Our celebration will start with a major public event on the Lawn on Oct. 6, 2017, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the laying of the University’s cornerstone. Just as that original cornerstone provided the foundation for the University’s first building at Pavilion VII, the Cornerstone Plan is creating a solid foundation for the University’s future as we approach our third century.

December 4, 2015

I want to thank Grace Mason and Rachel Kappel for inviting me to speak to you today. I’m also grateful to Pi Beta Phi and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life for sponsoring this event. I’m pleased to see so many members of Pi Beta Phi and other sororities here this afternoon. Thank you all for coming.

November 12, 2015

I have some comments about the value of university research and its impact on economic growth. University-based research has been the primary engine of American economic growth since World War II; it has created new jobs, improved health care, and led to production of new technologies, new products, and entirely new industries. 

I will share a few examples that involve UVA.

October 24, 2015

Welcome and Introduction

Good morning. I’m Teresa Sullivan, and I have the honor to serve as president of UVA.

Many of you were here on Opening Weekend, especially parents of first-year students.  If this is your first visit to the Grounds this fall, welcome! I hope all of you are having a great weekend in Charlottesville.

I want to thank the a capella group ReMix for providing the musical entertainment this morning.

October 15, 2015

Sixty-two years ago, two scientists came up with a great idea. The men were named James Watson and Francis Crick, and they developed the idea that the structure of DNA looks like a twisted ladder — a three-dimensional double-helix.

This idea was a game-changer. For years, scientists had struggled with the question of how DNA was constructed and how it stored genetic information. The double-helix solved the dilemma.

September 27, 2015

The Necessity of Global Perspective

Higher education leaders need to prepare the current generation of college students to thrive in today’s global economy. In order to thrive, these students need to gain a global perspective by making personal connections with students and faculty across national lines.