I would like to thank all of you for your wonderful words of support and encouragement following my inauguration as your Chancellor. Friday’s ceremony was deeply moving for me and my family, not only because it marked the official beginning of my administration, but because it served to highlight your amazing contributions that help make UW-Milwaukee a wonderful place to learn and work. All of my relatives and friends who came from out of town to attend the event told me afterward how impressed they were with the people they met on campus. Your friendliness and enthusiasm for our university made a lasting impression on them. Looking back on Inauguration Week, there were several highlights that I will always remember:
- I really didn’t mind handing out special T-shirts to the 79 individuals who ran the Panther Prowl faster than I did. The real key was that we had record involvement, not only by those running and walking in the 5K event, but also by the volunteers who turned out to support those runners and walkers. We are still collecting donations, but I am assured that we will have raised more money for scholarships this year than ever before. And I was especially proud that my son Kevin won an award in the 1-10 age group.
- My thanks to everyone who donated nonperishable food items which we delivered to Hope House. During my visit there I met several students, faculty, staff and alumni who volunteer their time to help others. I continue to be impressed by the significant service work done by you and our students to make our community a better place.
- It was amazing to see how fast we gave away 1,200 Lovell*Palooza T-shirts, and how many pictures with the Chancellor showed up on Facebook.
- I was extremely grateful for the insights into diversity provided by Alma Clayton-Pedersen, an alumna of UWM, during her special presentation, “Making Excellence Inclusive: Preparing Faculty for the Future.”
- I also gained new knowledge at the Chancellor’s Design Challenge, in which six teams tried their best not to break an egg. Using a process developed over the years, my team took second place – and I was amazed at the innovation and good luck of the winning student team, which developed a rocket with an 8-inch crumple zone!
- And, finally, I wanted to do better than three wins and three losses against the students at the game show “Are You Smarter Than the Chancellor?” But, really, how many of you would have known the real name of “JWOWW” on “Jersey Shore”?
All of these events and activities helped me to appreciate even more the tremendous spirit and goodwill found on our campus. Finally, I would like to thank the hundreds of people directly involved in the planning and presentation of inaugural activities. I deeply appreciate all of their hard work that helped showcase our university.
A special thanks to the team that designed and fabricated the new Chancellor’s Medallion. We are working on a plan to display the medallion, and the story of its creation, in several public spaces on campus.
I look forward to working with all of you in the coming years as we continue to make UW-Milwaukee a premier research university that serves Milwaukee and the world.
Michael R. Lovell