Hello, I’m Liz Magill.
Today I begin my duties as Penn’s ninth president. Like every new student and employee, I started out with a trip to the bookstore to get my Penn ID. And on the way, I got to meet three Penn students. I asked them: “What do you like best about Penn?” and “What could we do better?”
As to what they liked best, the consensus was totally clear: They loved the life-changing opportunities that Penn offered them. And what could we do better: They pointed out that the range of opportunities at Penn is so vast, to take advantage of all of them, they would need more than 24 hours in a day, and more than seven days in a week. I did love their energy, but I came away with the feeling that to make Penn even better, one of the first things I would have to do is bend the space-time continuum. And even for Penn that’s a tall order.
The students are on to something though. The scope of opportunity at Penn is mind boggling and it’s matched by the zeal of Penn people to do it all, and in the process, to make the world a better place. This is one of Penn’s defining traits—call it a virtuous impatience. We are impatient to create new possibilities; to teach, discover, and share solutions; and to help lift communities while saving and improving lives.
This is the university that would, if it could, bend space and time to accomplish even more good in the world. This is a characteristic of Penn I deeply admire. I’ve been impatient for this day, planning and dreaming of all the great things we’re going to do. Together.
Living here in the world-class city of Philadelphia, working with you to make Penn even more extraordinary, this will be the honor of a lifetime. I hope to meet you soon. I can’t wait.