September 6, 2023

Dear Rutgers University – Newark community members,

Welcome back—and welcome to all students, faculty, and staff who are joining us for their first academic year at Rutgers-Newark! It is a thrill to look forward to the year with you all!

We’re getting off to a great start with our in-person convocation this afternoon, where our amazing Mayor Ras J. Baraka—a son of Newark, educator, and spoken word artist all in one—will offer special words of welcome, joined by our own amazing Professor of Urban Education and Policy Dr. Edward (“Eddie”) Fergus, who we know will energize our minds for the year before us. We hope you’ll plan to join us at the Golden Dome to welcome new first-year and transfer students and experience anew how powerful the collective presence of the Rutgers-Newark family can be.

Our family, like our campus, is not bounded by the buildings and grounds of Rutgers-Newark—“in and of Newark” is our way of being here, so transcending traditional boundaries to embrace family is a way of life. That includes our neighbors on the streets that weave our campus into the city’s fabric, but it also includes our myriad partners across the city and region who are working with us to strengthen our community, where our mission as a university that is an anchor institution calls upon us to play a vital role. As the new year unfolds, don’t be shy about exploring what you can bring to the collaborative tables where our extended family does that work. Maybe you’ll help increase equitable growth and racial equity, help make our city and cities like it more safe and just places, find new ways to leverage science for the public interestbroaden educational pathways that are genuinely open to people of all backgrounds, or explore how to wield the arts and culture to affect social change—there are innumerable ways in which you can bring your talents and your lived experience to the table so we can leverage our extraordinary diversity.

For sure, we know that students can find an extraordinary array of opportunities to do just that among peers. During our Weeks of Welcome, facilitated by our incredible Student Affairs team, there are guided explorations of campus resources, a showcase featuring our 100+ student organizations, and invitations to cheer on our Scarlet Raiders on the field and the court—to name just a few. All students, new or returning, can connect with these kinds of opportunities all year round by downloading the official Rutgers University – Newark App. Students looking for support in navigating academic life—as well as faculty and staff looking for handy information about important dates and deadlines on the academic calendar—should make sure to consult myRUN, our clearinghouse of information about accessing vital academic services from registration and financial aid to advising. Our staff in all of those areas are as dedicated to guiding you along the path through Rutgers-Newark as they were in getting you here!

Whatever path you take through the year ahead, we hope that faculty, staff, and students will make Halsey Festival on Thursday, September 14th one of the stops along the way, when Halsey Street will come alive with music, games, crafts, food, and so much more. Likewise, you can engage early on with our community by contributing to the Rutgers-Newark Staff Council drive in partnership with Rutgers University Police Department to “Cram the Cruiser” with school supplies for local children.

I know that the 2023-24 academic year will hold a special place for me always. Let’s make it a year to remember for everyone!


Nancy Cantor