A Welcome Back Message

A message sent to the Carolina Family on January 26, 2016. 

Dear Carolina Students, 

We've had a great start to the semester. Your return from the winter break always fills our campus and surrounding communities with renewed enthusiasm. From my point of view, the semester has started out well and I hope your courses are stimulating. Remember to have an organized approach to your studying and other responsibilities.  Also remember to personally engage with your professors just as I know you do with old and new friends. They want to get to know you and that's in your interest too. Before you know it, midterms will be here, so keep your sights on a successful semester filled with engagement and achievement. David Bowie, someone from my generation who we recently lost, said, "Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming." Let's all be listening. 

It's a big year and we've got a lot to do, so let's get to work. I'm so glad that you are back home at Carolina. 

Let me thank so many of you who joined Patricia and me this month during the MLK Days of Service.  Your participation made a difference in communities near and far. I'm appreciative that some of you will also join me on Feb. 3 during Carolina Day at the Statehouse. And I know that many of you will continue to cheer on our basketball teams as they continue their historic run! They have a combined record of 37-2 as I write this. 

As we all know, this is a presidential election year. Nearly every candidate has been to our state and several have been on campus. A national election brings a lot of noise and this year, lots of rancor. Our national discourse may make you feel uneasy about the future of our country and it may tempt you to choose not to participate or follow the debates. But I encourage you to remain engaged. As difficult and messy as it is, I would not trade our political system for any other.  The nation needs you to make informed decisions, to participate in civil discourse and more than anything, to vote. If you are eligible but not registered to vote, there are many ways to prepare for November's general election including registering on campus during registration drives or, of course, voting absentee if you are voting in your home districts. 

It's a big year and we've got a lot to do, so let's get to work. I'm so glad that you are back home at Carolina.