Welcome from Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann

August 25, 2019

Welcome to our tenth academic year! Welcome to our incoming Class of 2023 and to 41 students visiting this semester from NYU’s campuses in New York and Shanghai. And to all students, faculty, and staff returning to campus: welcome back from what I hope was a restorative break over the summer.

I am delighted to have joined you as Vice Chancellor, and I want to thank you for such a warm reception upon my arrival. It was great to see our magnificent campus coming fully to life as faculty, students, and staff began streaming into our halls and plazas. For me, arriving here for the start of our tenth academic year truly feels like a return home.

In the week that I have been on campus, I have enjoyed the opportunity to talk with many of you at student and faculty Marhaba events. In my address to the families of new students as well as talks with incoming students and new faculty, I have also had the opportunity to share my experiences from the early days when I was the inaugural provost, and to recall and restate our vision for the university. It has been a particular joy to take stock, if briefly, of how far we have come to realize that vision.

It has been remarkable over the past decade to see our students take charge of their learning and build community on and off campus. So many NYUAD graduates have gone on to prominent graduate programs and careers in leading organizations in the UAE and around the world. Top faculty across the disciplines have joined the university to advance research and creative discovery and contribute to an exceptional environment for teaching and learning.

Through all of these efforts, embodied in our vigorous curriculum and unparalleled global education initiatives, we have become a university in and of the world. And through our large suite of community engagement and public programs, we have become a university in and of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. 

So much of this accomplishment we owe to Al Bloom, our first Vice Chancellor. Al did a spectacular job over the past ten years taking the spark of an idea to forge the model of international higher education that NYUAD now is. His guiding vision and dedication have ensured that, in the fullness of time, NYUAD will be firmly established as one of the world’s great and enduring universities. 

In my first few weeks as Vice Chancellor, I plan to spend time reacquainting myself with this campus and city I love, and getting to know you - our inspiring faculty, students, and staff who make up this wonderful community. And I hope to set in motion our work together of imagining what NYUAD will become in its second decade!

All of you will be warmly invited, along with colleagues from NYU New York and community partners, to join President Andrew Hamilton and me in a Welcome Convocation on September 15, the day after the RealAD Show. More information about the event will follow soon.

I look forward to a remarkable tenth anniversary year with all of you!

Mariët Westermann
Vice Chancellor, NYU Abu Dhabi