Welcome Back

Dear Orange Friends:

Welcome to the New Year. I hope that your holiday break—however spent—was a time of rest and recharging. We now embark upon the spring 2016 semester, which promises to be busy and full of opportunities.

One of the University’s priorities this semester is the transition underway in Hendricks Chapel and the search for a new dean. Hendricks is—literally and physically—at the heart of our campus. The Chapel is deeply involved in many of the campus community’s most important issues and events. On Monday, our nation observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day to honor Dr. King’s tremendous legacy and contributions to society. Hendricks Chapel plays an integral role in the University’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in the Carrier Dome, planned this year for Sunday, January 31. Our gathering is the largest such University-sponsored celebration in the nation honoring Dr. King, an achievement of which we can all be proud.

Because of its significant role on our campus, it is critical that the Chapel has strong leadership and that its programs are positioned to thrive in the years to come. Yesterday, I announced the creation of the Hendricks Chapel Review and Dean’s Search Committee . The Chapel’s Interim Dean, Samuel Clemence, and Vice President and Chief of Staff Candace Campbell Jackson will serve as co-chairs of the committee. I’ve asked the committee to conduct a comprehensive review of the Chapel and its programs, facility, finances, challenges, goals, and opportunities. The committee will also be tasked with identifying the best candidate to lead the Chapel as its next dean.

The review and search process will be inclusive and will rely on input from students, faculty, staff, alumni, the University Senate, members of the Board of Trustees, the Chapel’s Board of Friends, and the external community. The review findings will inform the search for a new dean, which will begin in the fall. I am grateful to Dean Clemence, who has agreed to stay on at Hendricks in an interim capacity until a new dean is hired, and to Candace Campbell Jackson for their leadership.

Welcome back, and have a wonderful semester.


Chancellor Kent Syverud