First and foremost, welcome to both the new and the returning. I am confident that this year will be a year of growth, pride, and gratitude for the community as a whole and that the Class of 2016 will prove to be influential role models and leaders for everyone on campus.
Right now, each one of us is living through one of the most hectic times in our world. With the beginning of this year offering a fresh start, I see it as our duty, as members of this community, to remain informed and to get involved.
I want to direct your attention to the world beyond Deerfield. With all of the mobile access we have today, it’s easy to keep up with information both in this country and around the world. In times of great catastrophe and strife, which define the lives of so many people around the globe, the news can serve as a method of raising awareness: a means of connection between those who are suffering and those who care enough to do something about that suffering.
As I write this letter, Europe is in the heat of a profound migrant crisis, one that has been the subject of headlines everywhere. In August, social media drew enormous attention to the issue when a photo of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed ashore on a Turkish beach went viral. It is times like these when the world’s never-ending attachment to media deserves positive recognition for drawing attention to what needs to be seen—the harsh reality of the world that seems the polar opposite of our own.
Here in this country, Friday marked the 14th anniversary of 9/11, what news media have rightly named one of America’s darkest days. I’ve spent my entire life living in New York City, and 9/11 marks a day when my home, which I share with 8.4 million other people, was attacked. However, 9/11 also marks a day of the utmost strength, endurance, and compassion. It marks a day of selflessness and the true heroism of people who deserve unbounded recognition and gratitude.
I’d like to shed light on all of the students and faculty who did just what I mentioned at the beginning of this letter—who, this summer, remained informed and got involved. I’m truly honored to be a member of a community of people who are so driven to affect change for the better of the world—who are driven to take advantage of the resources that they have to provide resources for people lacking them.
As we head into this year, I urge you all to remain humble and generous. I have the utmost faith that our community will continue to care, will continue to be empathic, and will continue to do good.