University of San Diego

Dear USD Campus Community:

Welcome to the spring semester! During intersession, we had many students, faculty, administrators and staff living up to our reputation as one of the nation’s top universities for studying abroad. Toreros recorded tremendous experiences from around the world in locations such as Italy, New Zealand and Israel, to Argentina, China and Brazil. Here in San Diego, many Toreros participated in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. parade honoring his legacy. Student athletes from basketball, tennis, swimming and rowing participated alongside our Spirit team. Faculty, administrators, staff and Associated Students representatives joined in the celebration as well.

Our student athletes competed at the highest levels throughout intersession. Our men’s and women’s basketball teams were engaged in exciting games, building momentum that will continue into the new semester.

The University of the Third Age kicked off its 40th anniversary with outstanding attendance throughout its January sessions. Anniversary celebrations continue this semester as we recognize the 30th year of the Mulvaney Center for Community, Awareness and Social Action.

We are experiencing very strong momentum as we close in on the completion of our Leading Change campaign. To date, we have raised $287 million of our $300 million goal for capital projects, student scholarships and faculty support.

Our efforts to set the standard as an engaged, contemporary Catholic university are in full swing as we evaluate new ideas and proposals drawn from throughout our campus community—all centered on student success.

There is another cherished USD tradition with a special anniversary this week. Thursday, February 1 marks the 25th anniversary of the All Faith Service, which takes place at 12:15 p.m. in Camino Hall’s Shiley Theatre. The theme is “Reaching Beyond Ourselves: Flourishing Together in a Globalized World.” I encourage you to attend this event as we experience and celebrate the similarities shared with other faiths and realize that these faith traditions reflect, through different lenses, truths that enlighten all people.

In support of our Envisioning 2024 strategic plan and new vision, I also invite you to attend the inaugural Setting the Standard Symposium on February 1 and 2. Through this new Torero tradition, the USD community will explore a different theme annually designed to catalyze dialogue around what it means to set the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university. Recognizing that our institutional commitment to include all faith traditions comes from the heart of what it means to be a Catholic university, the theme for our inaugural year is “Embracing Religious Diversity.” Our keynote speaker is Dr. Miroslav Volf, the Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology, and Founding Director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture. Dr. Volf will explore the major themes in his recent book, “Flourishing: Why we need religion in a globalized world,” and how the world religions’ visions of human flourishing are a necessary moral compass in a globalizing world where cherished beliefs and values are often brought into conflict. 

I also look forward to seeing you at our many athletic events, Fireside Chats, President’s Forums and other student and faculty performances and presentations on our campus events calendar. I wish you much success throughout this spring semester!


James T. Harris III, D.Ed.

University of San Diego

Office of the President
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492