To the University Community,
As we begin a new semester, I can’t help but reflect on the profound impact that 2021 has had on our community and wonder what lies ahead in 2022.
The conclusion of the fall semester gave way to a period of holidays and celebrations across many faiths, cultures and traditions. While many of these moments were still impacted by the worldwide pandemic, the unwavering themes across all of these celebrations were messages of peace, love, reflection, and hope.
Many of these themes impact our daily lives, and their impact can be felt across our campus. Earlier this month, the Spectrum Center co-founder and U-M alumnus Jim Toy passed away at the age 91. While an enormous loss for the U-M community, Jim’s impact and legacy helped advance LGBTQ+ rights in Ann arbor, across the state of Michigan, and throughout the nation. He continuously advocated for human rights and played a significant role in the establishment of the University’s Human Sexuality Office in 1971.
Through these efforts, the Human Sexuality Office (now known as the Spectrum Center) became the country’s first office dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ students on campus – an impact felt throughout the Ann Arbor community. He will be missed.
While reflecting on the life of Jim Toy and so many others who have made such a dramatic impact on our community, I’m encouraged by our progress as a university. Equally so, we must also acknowledge that we still have a way to go in becoming the university we strive to become.
Whether this is your first semester on campus or have been calling the University of Michigan home for decades, what truly makes U-M special is its sense of community and the continuous effort and belief that diversity, equity and inclusion is essential if we are going to live up to the mantra as leaders and best.
As we embark on this new semester, I wish all of you good health, and the commitment that we, as a campus community, are here for each other.
Have a great semester and go blue.
Chief Diversity Officer
Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion