August 25, 2015

Dear students:

It is a pleasure and honor to join our three great campuses in welcoming you to the University of Illinois.

The start of a new academic year is a special time, when our campuses come alive again after the relative quiet of summer. This fall promises to be busier than ever. We expect nearly 79,000 students university-wide, a new enrollment record and more than the entire population of Illinois’ 12th largest city, Bloomington.

This year’s fall semester is especially meaningful to me. It is my first as president of this remarkable university, with roots that stretch back nearly 150 years to a stroke of President Abraham Lincoln’s pen that created public land-grant universities and made higher education in America a model for the world.

I came for the same reasons that attracted all of you – a chance to be part of a university recognized globally as a leader in education and discovery; a university that has helped fulfill the dreams of more than 700,000 living graduates whose successes are testaments to its excellence.

Students are the very core of our mission and my presidency is dedicated to all of you. With campus leadership, faculty and staff, I will work to ensure the educational experience that has been transforming lives for generations continues for generations to come and that a U of I degree is forever synonymous with pride, respect and opportunity.

Each of you will ultimately add to our rich legacy, through the talents you foster here. Take advantage of everything the university has to offer, in the classroom and out. What you learn here will serve you for a lifetime. Enjoy the ride, and don’t forget to have some fun along the way.

I wish you all the best and I thank you and your family for choosing the University of Illinois.


Tim Killeen