June 14, 2017
I write today to let you know that at the end of the coming academic year, I will conclude my service as president. On June 30, 2018, I will complete my eleventh year, and the Harvard Campaign will reach its conclusion. It will be the right time for the transition to Harvard’s next chapter, led by a new president.
It has been a privilege beyond words to work with all of you to lead Harvard, in the words of her alma mater, “through change and through storm.” We have shared ample portions of both over the last decade and have confronted them together in ways that have made the university stronger—more integrated both intellectually and administratively, more effectively governed, more open and diverse, more in the world and across the world, more innovative and experimental. The dedication of students, faculty, and staff to the ideal and excellence of Harvard, and to the importance of its pursuit of Veritas has made all this possible. I know this commitment will carry Harvard forward, from strength to strength, in the years to come.
I am deeply grateful to every member of this community for the honor of being your president and for the support and, indeed, joy you have given me. I look forward to being able to thank you directly in the course of the next year and to using the months that remain in my term to join with you in continuing to advance our shared purposes. There is much work to be done: combatting the ongoing threat to federal funding for research; completing the capital campaign and ensuring its support for our most important priorities; attracting and sustaining the most talented faculty, students, and staff; advancing the work of inclusion and belonging that enables every member of our community to thrive; helping to realize the dreams of the many remarkable individuals who together are Harvard. I look forward, with all of you, to seizing every opportunity and confronting every challenge in the year ahead. And for this extraordinary, beloved university, I cherish an enduring wish, captured in the closing lines of the speech I delivered in 2013 to launch the campaign:
May Harvard be as wise as it is smart,
as restless as it is proud,
as bold as it is thoughtful,
as new as it is old,
as good as it is great.
June 14, 2017