Before I arrived at the University of Redlands as president on July 19, I had heard of its friendly, tight-knit community. But the warmth of my reception has far exceeded anything I could have imagined. Thank you to everyone who has helped my family and me feel so welcome!
In my first few months as a Bulldog, during my initial “listening tour,” I have attended more than 400 meetings and events with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the University. I’ve cheered on from the stands every fall Bulldog athletic team—Go Dawgs! I’ve also seen some wonderful student musical and theatrical performances. Whether or not I have yet had the opportunity to meet you in person, I hope this issue of the magazine will help you get to know me better. Although it feels a little awkward
to see stories about myself, I want to make sure I have the chance to connect with you.
In this issue, you will also find coverage of the fall semester as we’ve returned to most in-person classes and activities. It is wonderful to have students back on our main Redlands campus, learning inside and outside the classroom. Like many U of R faculty and staff members, I relish the bustle of students moving between classes, the sounds of music rehearsals that I can hear from my office, and the excitement at games. You will see some of that activity reflected in these pages, with stories on the unveiling of an expanded Fletcher Jones Innovation Center; a day in the life of some of our student-athletes; and on-campus events including the Art Faculty Show, visit of NBA star and stuttering community advocate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and discussion with Skid Row Marathon documentary filmmakers.
Our community has come together to create a safe environment for these activities in the face of the continuing presence of COVID-19. I am proud to report that our overall campus vaccination rate is 94%, case management protocols are supportive and effective, and our case numbers are very low (less than 0.5% for residential students). A big thanks to every student, faculty, and staff member whose efforts have contributed to our success in this area!
Among the developments featured in this magazine is the launch of the School of Business & Society, which consolidates and enhances our business programs—a strategic evolution that will help future business leaders and their organizations make the world a better place. Thanks to the efforts of many, the University held its inaugural Juneteenth celebration with three days of programming. And, to help us cross the finish line in our historic $200 million Forever Yours campaign by December 31, 2021, generous alumni Todd Lightbody ’70 and Connie Shattuck Lightbody ’70 have stepped up to match donations up to $2,000 from all new donors. If you haven’t made your contribution yet and you want to be included in our historic campaign, now is your chance!
I look forward to the many exciting months and years to come as a member of this wonderful community. My inauguration on Feb. 23, 2022, is open to all. There we will consider the history of the University, discuss the current state, and envision the future together. Come back to the University, reconnect with other Bulldogs, and fall in love with your alma mater all over again as Bulldogs for Life.
Krista L. Newkirk, J.D.