Parents Convocation (2011)

Remarks by Provost Jean Morrison
Boston University Parents’ Convocation
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Harry Agganis Arena

Parents and families of the Class of 2015… Good afternoon and welcome.

I’m Jean Morrison, and as Provost and Chief Academic Officer, it is my great pleasure to welcome you all to Boston University… and to join you in saluting and supporting your talented sons and daughters as they begin their
undergraduate careers here.

By choosing a Boston University education, the exceptional young men and women who will soon enter this auditorium begin a great new chapter in their lives and become part of a long and proud Terrier tradition of academic excellence. It is a chapter all of us here are honored and excited to help usher in.

As parents, you, too, begin a new chapter in your own lives this week, both as supporters of your children’s continued success as young adults, and as vitally important members of the BU community.

It is fair to say that the Class of 2015 would not be here today without the foundation of love, support and guidance all of you in this room provided. The trust you have placed in us is something none of us takes lightly. We look forward to getting to know you and your children personally in the years ahead, and to providing a setting for them to learn, to grow and to ask important questions.

From the earliest days of our founding, BU has made a mission not only of providing students with the tools they need to succeed in the workplace, but with a sense of their place in a larger world and an ability to think critically about the challenges of the day. For nearly a century-and-a-half, students, alumni and faculty here at BU have been thinking critically, performing groundbreaking research, and, in turn, making a profound difference wherever they’ve gone.

Today, the Boston University your children enter has emerged as one of the nation’s premier research institutions, with an ever-expanding global footprint. We are proud to count among our faculty and alumni Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, MacArthur Fellows, United States Senators, Governors, and hundreds of international honorees in medicine, mathematics, engineering, genetics, and the humanities to name a few.

Today, BU faculty and alumni are helping to alleviate hunger in impoverished regions. They’re building software to help those with disabilities lead increasingly more accessible lives. They’re marrying medicine with nanotechnology to discover new treatments for disease, engineering sturdier, lighter modes of travel, and developing new forms of sustainable energy. They’re winning international awards for their writing and journalistic efforts. Some of them are even winning Oscars and Emmys.

As the newest members of this remarkable community, your sons and daughters will soon be making their own marks on the world. I speak for our entire faculty in telling you how excited all of us are to be a part of this.

In just a moment, I will have the privilege of welcoming to the podium the President of Boston University, Dr. Robert Brown.

Dr. Brown became the tenth president of Boston University in 2005. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Sciences, and from 2005 through 2008, he served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Under Dr. Brown’s leadership, BU is pursuing a 10-year strategic plan that calls for strengthening the core missions of undergraduate, graduate and professional education, interdisciplinary work, and research and scholarship.

Dr. Brown earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota. Prior to his appointment at BU, he served as provost and Warren K. Lewis Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. We, of course, like to think that he took a step up in the world when he crossed the Charles River six years ago. He has not stopped leading ever since.

Ladies and gentleman, it now gives me great pleasure to introduce Boston University President Robert Brown…