As I have noted in other contexts, universities are among the most enduring institutions human history has known. Ironically, a key contributor to their endurance is their ability to continually evolve in response to changing social contexts, to emerging demands for learning and inquiry, and to opportunities afforded by new technologies.
While remaining faithful to its mission, Notre Dame has evolved dramatically over the course of its history. That evolution continues today in many new facilities, a new school and many new programs, and in the many initiatives to which you, Notre Dame’s faculty, have contributed to make the University better and stronger.
Don Keough was once the chair of our Board of Trustees, and the generosity of Don and his family made the Keough School of Global Affairs possible. Don had many insightful aphorisms, and one he often repeated was, “Success is a journey, not a destination.” So it is for us, and I look forward to continuing this journey with you. Yet it is good to pause on this journey occasionally, look back at how far we have come and be grateful for the progress. I am grateful for the progress and I am deeply grateful for you, companions on that journey. Let me end, then, where I began, by thanking you for your hard work and dedication to building the University of Notre Dame.
God bless you all.