Dear IU students:
On this first day of classes, I would like to extend a warm welcome to you as you begin what will be a memorable, exciting and especially eventful year at Indiana University.
Indeed, you have chosen a great time to be a student at IU.
You are a member of one of the most extraordinarily talented, diverse and academically accomplished groups of students we have ever had at the university.
You will be learning from and working with faculty who are among the leading scholars, researchers and innovators here in the U.S. and around the world.
You will be supported by caring and highly skilled staff members who will help you get the most out of your IU education and are determined to help you achieve your grandest goals and aspirations.
And you will form friendships and mentorships that will last a lifetime.
You are also part of an increasingly interconnected world and a member of one of the nation’s most international universities — a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment where you can seek to better understand the ideas, assertions, arguments, customs, traditions and beliefs of others with whom you have chosen to share this memorable and vital time in your lives.
You are also returning to IU — or arriving here for the first time — as we enthusiastically count down the days to what will be a momentous occasion in the history of our great institution: IU’s 200th anniversary! The Bicentennial, which is now just 315 days away, will feature a myriad of exciting events, projects and programs designed to celebrate and chronicle IU's extraordinary history. I encourage you to visit — and bookmark — the special IU Bicentennial website to explore all of the activities we have planned.
As you pursue your academic interests, participate in extracurricular activities and engage in valuable service and volunteer opportunities, you will be preparing yourselves to be active, engaged and committed global citizens in our democratic society. Indeed, the world is looking to you, and students all across our country, like never before for your commitment as citizens, your courage, your energy and passion, and your seriousness of purpose as you confront the most formidable challenges facing our communities.
To this end, I encourage all of you to exercise your right to vote this coming fall and to make your voices heard. Turnout of young voters is at a historic low point when compared to other segments of our population. Yet every vote counts. Furthermore, your dreams, values and ideals deserve the attention of our politicians. If you have not already done so, I strongly encourage you to register to vote and to participate in the 2018 primary and general elections, here in Indiana or in your home state. You can find details of how to register to vote in Indiana at indianavoters.in.gov.
For those of you on participating IU campuses, help us win the Big Ten Voting Challenge! Visit our student voting guide to learn more about this friendly, spirited competition and for information about one of our most important duties as citizens.
As members of an outstanding student body, this is your time to make your mark on the world, to make positive change and to seek solutions to the challenges we face in the 21st century.
All of us at IU are excited about the role you will play in writing the next chapter in our university’s storied history and shaping our collective future.
On behalf of the entire IU faculty and staff, I wish you the very best good fortune as you prepare for a productive and successful 2018-19 academic year.
With best wishes for a great year,
Michael A. McRobbie