President’s Update – August 30, 2006 – Welcome Back!

Dear Fairleigh Dickinson Colleagues,

It gives me great joy to welcome you back to campus for the start of a new academic year. I hope everyone had a wonderful summer and enjoyed many happy moments with friends and family members.

For me, this was a summer marked by strong emotions. Last March, I shared with you the fact that I had been diagnosed with a single-site, B-Cell Lymphoma. Since then, I have been at times frustrated by the physical toll the treatments took on me, and at times worried that our best efforts to eradicate the cancer would fail. Throughout the process, though, I have been comforted and supported by the good wishes, personal gestures and prayers from so many individuals in our community. Your concern and your compassion have been a tremendous source of strength for me. Thank you! I am pleased to report that I am nearing the final stages of treatment and I am looking forward to a complete recovery very soon.

I have always known ours is a special community, but during this recent personal crisis, the sense of community was brought home to me in a very profound way. In the academic world, we talk constantly about standards, missions, goals, strategic plans and values. But all our efforts simply come down to what we do to change people’s lives, to make people’s lives better. As I reflected this summer on FDU’s mission and our values, I was struck by the sense that our values as a community and our priorities as an institution are exactly the ones needed in a world too often torn by intolerance and cruelty, and too rarely unified by understanding and compassion.

As always, I thank you for bringing our mission to life, for epitomizing the values we hold dear, for being there for each other and for changing the lives of our students. We have had a lot to celebrate lately, and I know we have many great accomplishments ahead of us.

Thank you and best wishes for a very successful academic year!

Michael Adams