Summer 2011by Mary E. Lyons, PhD

From the President

This is Who We Are

Finding learning opportunities from challenging circumstances

As I reflect upon the academic year just past and look to the year ahead, there is so much for which I have to be both proud and grateful. Our students are arguably the best equipped and most capable in the university’s history. They have demonstrated once again their capacity to learn and to live in a complex, highly-connected, rapidly-changing world in which the unrelenting avalanche of information challenges them to be the most engaged, critical, discerning and responsive generation the planet has ever known. Their success in being able to meet that challenge and to live responsibly in the world is of more than little consequence to the rest of us.

Our talented and devoted faculty, coaches and staff work daily, supporting our students’ growth and development and preparing them for long and productive lives of professional competence, civic responsibility and personal integrity. Our treasured alumni, parents, donors, corporate partners and other friends continue to encourage us with their extraordinary generosity, loyalty, praise and gratitude, in both the brightness of daylight and the darkness of night.

For a brief interlude this April, a long shadow cast itself across our campus when the national media focused on a former basketball player who is alleged to have influenced the outcome of
a game. Yet the outpouring of support and encouragement from many of you, our alumni,
families and friends, dissipated the darkness and illuminated for all the resilience and devotion of our Torero family.

And so we learn again that each academic cycle at USD is a series of questions and discoveries, hopes and disappointments, attempts and failures, teaching moments and learning opportunities; not just for our students, but for our entire USD family. We are changed forever by each experience, by each relationship, by each challenge, and by our response every time we are called to account by our mission statement: The University of San Diego is a Roman Catholic institution committed to advancing academic excellence, expanding liberal and professional knowledge, creating a diverse and inclusive community, and preparing leaders dedicated to ethical conduct and compassionate service. This is “true North” for USD. This is what we are here to do. This is who we are.

— Mary E. Lyons, PhD, President