September 2, 2022

A Message from the Dean

“Remember to imagine and craft the worlds you cannot live without, just as you dismantle the ones you cannot live within.”~Ruha Benjamin

Greetings and welcome to the start of a new academic year in AMPD!

Late August is always an exciting time of year in AMPD as we welcome familiar students, staff and faculty back to campus and prepare to greet new colleagues who are arriving at York’s Keele campus for the very first time. The start of the new academic year brings with it a sense of renewal as our hallways, studios and classrooms are again animated with the sounds of imagination and industry. We bid farewell to the summer and invite new opportunities, collaborations and creations of the burgeoning academic year.

I was reflecting on these kinds of transitions when I had the opportunity to attend the National Bank Womens Tennis Open in August. As many of the newsletter readers will know, I am perhaps overly fond of the comparisons between arts, culture, performance and sports. But, few can deny that tennis and cultural superstar Serena Williams offers a compelling blend of all these and more.

Shortly after announcing her “evolution” in the pages of Vogue, Williams played what will likely be one of, if not her final, professional tennis matches right here on the York campus. Although she did not play well, the tennis itself hardly mattered that night. Her good-bye to tennis and all of us who have followed her extraordinary career. It was the end of one era and the beginning of another. As she wrote, “I’m torn: I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next.”

Williams’ essay reminds us that moving forward in new directions often requires leaving some things behind, even those that we have held dear in the past. Although our own transitions are less prominent than Serena Williams’ historic good-bye, they may be no less significant for each of us in the moment. The new academic year can be both exciting and challenging, so I’m grateful to all of the folks working to ensure that our new students and colleagues are warmly welcomed to campus this fall. Together, we can continue to build and grow a world-class School, where all our students can thrive.

I am excited to welcome you all to an exciting new year and I hope that you will stop by the Dean’s Office when you’re on campus. In the meantime, thank you for being a part of our AMPD community and I wish you a happy fall in all its many transitions.