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viewpoint

Writing the next chapter

| Friday, August 17, 2018

Dear new students,

Like generations who came before, you are embarking on a journey at Notre Dame where you will have an opportunity to advance your knowledge, deepen your faith, develop your character and form lifelong friendships. Whether you are a first‐year undergraduate, transfer, professional or graduate student, we are delighted that you have chosen to join our community; and I extend a warm welcome to you as you begin this formative time in your life.

I hope Notre Dame challenges you in many ways. Your professors, your rector, your advisors and your peers will encourage you to stretch and grow in many ways. Take these opportunities to find a passion that matches your talents and allows you to lead a purposeful life. Dare to be different, yet be respectful and welcoming to all. Have fun, without engaging in behavior that would place you or others at risk. Expect much of yourself, care for those in the community around you and reach out for support when needed. Explore new things, while cherishing the people and traditions that matter. Embrace Notre Dame’s distinctive Catholic mission, and enrich your understanding of it through study and reflection. Contribute your own talents to improve the experiences of others.

Much of your development at the University can and should occur on your own. At the same time, know the Division of Student Affairs is available to support you through our residential communities and a variety of student service departments. Rectors and hall staff members across 30 undergraduate communities are dedicated to building Christian communities that are rooted in the Holy Cross tradition. The professionals who serve in Campus Ministry, the Office of Community Standards, the Family Resource Center, the Gender Relations Center, Graduate Career Services, Graduate Student Life, the McDonald Center for Student Well‐Being, Multicultural Student Programs and Services, RecSports, the Office of Residential Life, Sara Bea Disability Services, the Student Activities Office, the Office of Student Enrichment, Undergraduate Career Services, the University Counseling Center, University Health Services and beyond, are trained to provide specialized services and programming that will complement your formation. All of us are eager to accompany you on the road you will travel during your time at Notre Dame. I look forward to watching how your presence, energ and ideas renew and enhance our University. You will lead Notre Dame in new directions based on the paths you pursue. May we all form a strong community and write the next chapter of this beloved institution together.

With best wishes and prayers for a successful year,

Erin Hoffmann Harding

vice president of Student Affairs

Aug. 8

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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