DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > From the President: Welcome home

From the President: Welcome home

A. Gabriel Esteban, president of DePaul
(DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

A new academic year is always an exciting time, but this year is particularly meaningful as we welcome our students, faculty and staff back home to DePaul. I missed seeing you on campus!

I'm very happy we are once again able to share the excitement of in-person classes, community gatherings and events. It was a pleasure to welcome our faculty and staff back to campus at last week's Academic Convocation and the picnic that followed. Jo and I also are enjoying seeing our students at DePaul's Welcome Week events. 

As thrilled as we are to be back together, we also must acknowledge that the pandemic continues to present obstacles. The health and safety of our community remains our top priority. I'm happy to report more than 22,000 of our students and more than 2,500 faculty and staff have submitted their vaccination documentation. ​I urge everyone to continue practicing the health and safety measures that we have grown accustom to over the past year and a half. That way, we can continue heading in this positive direction together.

We are now at the halfway point in our strategic plan, Grounded in Mission, and it's important to keep the momentum going. In the year ahead, there are many initiatives we aim to accomplish. These include:

  • Coordinating and advancing our mission-based community outreach efforts
  • Strengthening programs that serve students of color, first-generation students, low-income students and LGBTQIA+ students
  • Increasing the number of students participating in internships through engagement with employers, alumni and funders
  • Creating degree-completion programs, with flexible delivery methods, responsive to the needs of adult learners

We will continue our push in the areas of health and medical science, as well as engineering. At the end of this month, for example, I'm very much looking forward to the grand opening of DePaul's Speech Language Pathology Clinic. In addition to providing exemplary clinical education and training for DePaul's students, this clinic also will offer free services to the diverse population of Chicago. I can't think of a better way to uphold our Catholic, Vincentian and urban mission to serve the public good.

These initiatives are among a few I spoke about at the 2021 Academic Convocation ceremony, and I invite you to read my full remarks here. Provost Salma Ghanem also shared her call to action for the year ahead, and you may read her full remarks here.

Every day, I feel blessed to be surrounded by faculty, staff and students who care so deeply about one another's wellbeing. I see it in our faculty who give their all for our students. I see it in our staff who go above and beyond to support learning. You make DePaul a special place, and I am beyond grateful for everything you do to honor our Vincentian and Catholic mission. Have a terrific academic year, and always, take care, DePaul.