Dear Harvard College Students,
Welcome to Harvard!
I am excited to welcome you to Harvard College and to share this journey with you.
The start of each new year allows us to recognize and celebrate the unique perspectives and experiences that our students bring to campus. Each of you will play an essential role in nurturing and renewing our community. While I do not doubt that Harvard will change you, I am also confident that you will change Harvard for the better. You belong here, and we can’t wait to learn from you.
It might not seem like it right now, but these next four years will go by quickly. As you prepare to start your first semester, I encourage you to be thoughtful and intentional about how you plan to spend your time here. I hope you will prioritize taking care of yourself, getting to know your classmates and faculty, listening to new ideas and perspectives, asking questions, and being open to changing your mind. For the past few years, I have been practicing yoga to calm my mind (my thoughts sometimes go down rabbit holes!). Recently, our instructor asked us to imagine our lives as if they were silent movies. She wanted us to consider whether how we would verbally describe our lives would match what we were actually doing with our time. It can be challenging to close the gap between our aspirations and actions, but making intentional choices is integral to this quest.
In the coming months, I will remind you that the mission of Harvard College is to develop and support citizens and citizen-leaders for our society. We believe that each member of our community has an essential role to play in building a better world. I can’t wait to see what you will do over the next four years.
Danoff Dean of Harvard College