NYU Alumni Magazine Spring 2008

Letter from the President

Bold moves are not new to the New York University story. This institution has a proud history of raising itself at the most critical moments, and the past two decades have been no exception as NYU has transformed itself from a distinguished regional university into one of international prominence. Much of the fuel for this evolution has been provided by our Office of Development and Alumni Relations, which has spearheaded a series of historic campaigns, none more bold that the recently completed Campaign for NYU.

This effort has provided some seismic shifts in the makeup of our students, faculty, and facilities. The Partners Initiative will fund the hiring of 250 of the best scholars in the world, an increase in scholarships will help bring some of the brightest young minds to campus, and major gifts have allowed us to build state-of-the-art structures throughout Washington Square and the medical center. But it has also helped us reimagine how to connect with our more than 360,000 alumni, who were the building blocks for all these changes. In this 11th issue of NYU Alumni Magazine, we examine the impetus for this unprecedented campaign (“View from the Finish Line”) and detail the important steps that helped us reach our goal.

A massive undertaking of another kind, the complicated rebuilding of New Orleans, is spotlighted in “The Little Difficult”, an article that exposes the myriad challenges but also new opportunities presented to residents now three years removed from Katrina’s devastation. On the far lighter side, newly anointed comedic icon Rainn Wilson talks about how his Tisch training helped him create the nuanced character of Dwight Schrute on NBC’s The Office (“King of the Watercooler”).

The themes of opportunity and ingenuity prevail throughout this issue, and we hope you’ll connect with them both intellectually and emotionally, and find in them inspiration for your own important ventures.

—John Sexton

Photo © Matthew Septimus