First Day Message from President Kate Morris

Good Morning Laurentians,

With gratitude to all who have made it possible, I am delighted to assume the presidency at St. Lawrence University beginning today. I wish to extend a special thanks to President Emeritus Bill Fox who has been both supportive and collaborative through the presidential transition.

In the months since I was announced as President-Elect on February 4, I have had the opportunity to meet, via Zoom and more recently, in person, many members of the Laurentian community. I have heard many stories, favorite memories, and other reflections on what St. Lawrence means to the people with whom I interacted. Across hundreds of these interactions, one singular theme emerged: community. Indeed, even early on as a candidate for this role, I recognized that Laurentians are connected in deep and meaningful ways. I am grateful that, true to form, you have welcomed me and my family sincerely into your special community.

In the first two weeks of my presidency, I will focus on engaging with students who are completing the summer semester. In addition to visiting a half dozen summer classes, I look forward to meeting students who pop by to say hello and enjoy treats we will have on hand at various events, or to meet our black lab mix rescue, Comet.

Throughout the remainder of July, there will be opportunities for employees to stop by MacAllaster House for informal post-workday gatherings to say hello. Employees who work overnight will have an opportunity to meet me in the morning, after their shifts, as well. Employees should be on the lookout for invitations to sign up for these events.

I am working with University Advancement to develop a plan for engagement with alumni, parents, and friends of the University. Pending continued progress on curbing the pandemic and the safety of travel, I will begin visiting Laurentians around the country as my first year in office progresses.

Aside from meeting members of our community, I look forward to continuing to learn as much about St. Lawrence as possible in the coming months. This effort will include deep dives into our policies, practices, and procedures, an understanding of our curriculum and co-curricular offerings, DEI and wellness initiatives, financials, and facilities (among other topics). Finally, and importantly, much of my attention in the first year will focus on continuing the work of the Experience St. Lawrence Task Force.

I begin this new role with excitement about the many opportunities and challenges ahead. Thanks to each of you for your warm welcome to the Laurentian community. I am proud to be one of you now, and I look forward to seeing you soon.