July 17, 2014
President Mark S. Schlissel got a round of applause Thursday when he started the Board of Regents meeting saying, "Welcome to our July Board of Regents meeting and my first as president of the University of Michigan. It feels really good to say that."
Schlissel said his goals as U-M president will include supporting and elevating the diverse work of the scholars among the university's faculty.
"The most powerful asset of our university is academic excellence. It's what drew me to Michigan, and it will be my goal to support and elevate the diverse work of our scholars," Schlissel said during opening remarks at his first Board of Regents meeting as president.
He cited the university's Third Century Initiative as an example of that support. "Heading into our bicentennial, this is an exciting and important investment in teaching and research for our next 100 years." The agenda for the meeting included a presentation on one of the initiative's projects.
Schlissel said that as he learns more about U-M, he has been particularly intrigued with learning more about the university's many influential alumni.
"None has made a more lasting impact than Raoul Wallenberg, who came here from Sweden and graduated in 1935. We should never forget his heroics in saving thousands of Hungarians Jews from death during the Holocaust," he said. "Last week, his remarkable legacy was reinforced with the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal, which is the nation's highest civilian award."
He also noted that the only other U-M graduate has been honored with the Congressional gold Medal was President Gerald Ford, also a 1935 graduate.
"We are proud to call both of them Michigan alumni."
Schlissel said he has been getting to know both the university and the Ann Arbor community during his first week on the job. He said he and his wife have been touring the state and the city. "We've been to the Botanical Gardens and the Natural History Museum. We've been up and down Main Street.
"My first appointment was with the governor, who stopped by to say hello, and we attended the Townie Art Fair party. It's been a great week."