REMARKS FROM AMERICAN UNIVERSITY
PRESIDENT-ELECT NEIL KERWIN
July 20, 2007
Today, we’ve turned a new page.
I want to begin by expressing my appreciation to the search committee and the Board of Trustees—and to Chairman Gary Abramson, in whose room we sit today—for this expression of confidence in my ability to lead this great university. The process was long and challenging—as it should be—but I learned a great deal and I will put it to use.
What has been accomplished here since our founding is nothing short of remarkable.
Every day on this beautiful campus, in this city and the region that surrounds it, throughout the nation and all around the globe the people of American University are making the world a smarter, better place.
Our faculty do that through their scholarship, professional contributions and art, and they do it through their teaching and their service.
Our tens of thousands of alumni do it through their career achievements, leadership in key organizations in the private, public and non-profit sectors, and their countless hours of volunteer work in their communities.
Our students do it through their ability to balance the rigors of our curricula with deep commitments to engage the world and bring about positive change, a characteristic of AU students in which we take great pride.
Our staff do it through tireless efforts on behalf of our students and faculty, alumni and friends, and through the contributions they make to their professional associations and in the towns and cities they call home.
This is not the time to present an elaborate plan on this institution’s future; but when the new plan is developed, it will be with the full participation of each element of this community.
But I will say that today, American University is a strong, influential, and confident institution. We are proud of our past, proud of what we are today, but restless and aware that we have not yet reached the full measure of our potential.
In moving forward, we will be true to our mission. We will be an integral part of the City of Washington and it will benefit from our deep involvement, just as we benefit from our home.
We will be a presence on the national stage, providing ideas, insights, and leaders to influence how America develops and shares its strength with the world.
We will continue to function as a premier, global university, bringing the world to AU and AU to the world.
We will maintain our rightful place among the nation’s leading institutions of higher education and observe with pleasure as our stature rises to meet our performance.
Forty years ago, Ann and I were preparing to leave our homes—she in Indianapolis and me in Waterbury, Connecticut—to embark on a journey that would bring us together for a lifetime, with each other and with AU. It has been a great trip.
For my part, I pledge my best effort in leading this university to the next exciting stage of its very bright future.
July 20, 2007 6:33 PM