Spring 2017 welcome message

Jan. 26, 2017

Dear USD Campus Community:

Welcome to the beginning of the spring semester. There have been a few exciting changes at the university since December. You have likely noticed that we began construction along Marian Way on the Colachis Plaza project, which will create a beautiful new pedestrian plaza stretching from the Immaculata to Copley Library. This project, which was made possible by the generosity of the Colachis family, is expected to be completed in August.

This semester presents us with many opportunities both on and off campus to engage in important conversations about the future of our country. One of the topics that we engaged in at the end of the fall semester was the uncertainty related to potential changes to immigration policy and enforcement. Our task force has taken initial steps by launching a website with helpful information and services that support our campus community, particularly our students who are immigrants, including those who are eligible for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process. We will continue to update this website throughout the semester, and we remain committed to our culture of care that protects immigrants on our campus and promotes social justice and the dignity of every person.

As a community of Changemakers, our Torero family has a cherished tradition of beginning this new semester with the All Faith Service, which takes place on Thursday, February 2, at 12:15 p.m. in Camino Hall’s Shiley Theatre. The theme of the 2017 event is “A Call to Unity: Living with an Open Heart.”

This event provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of spiritual paths that direct us toward beauty, goodness and truth, and enables us to reflect upon many different perspectives beyond our own. I encourage you to attend the All Faith Service as we pray together for national unity and for our leaders in government to act with wisdom, understanding, and compassion toward all of God's creation, especially those who are marginalized and most vulnerable.

One final note of good news is that the renovation of Aromas has been completed and is now open. Aromas features a whole new look and vibe, with an innovative cold-brew coffee station, loose-leaf tea pour-over brewing capabilities and a new flexible space with individual communal seating.

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


James T. Harris III, D.Ed.