As associate provost for strategic initiatives in the Office of Academic Affairs, Marcelle Haddix wants the work of her office to have an impact on the academic enterprise and the experiences of students—and to connect the University’s academic efforts with…
Becoming Forever Orange
Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,
Today begins my first full week as a member of the Syracuse University community. I am grateful for the students, faculty, staff and alumni who have already reached out to welcome me home to Upstate New York.
I wish that I could be with you today on campus. I was looking forward to meeting many of you this morning at a welcome event, which was canceled Friday afternoon. Unfortunately, before I arrived in Syracuse, I was exposed to COVID-19 and have subsequently tested positive. Fortunately, I am vaccinated and my symptoms are very mild. It is certainly an unusual way to start a new job, but we have all become accustomed to demonstrating resilience and flexibility since the start of the pandemic.
It is something the Syracuse University community has done extraordinarily well. I am enormously impressed with the steps that the University is taking to keep faculty, staff and students safe. I am also heartened by the ingenuity and commitment of our community members as we all navigate these challenges. It is one of the many reasons I am proud to be joining Syracuse University and am energized by the opportunities before us.
In my time as an academic leader, I have found that each university has unique features that make it distinct. As I settle into my new role at Syracuse, I am once again the student. There’s much to learn about this community, including what it means to be part of the “Orange” tradition.
Here, “Orange” is used in ways that it isn’t used anywhere else. Here, it carries meaning that goes far beyond school colors or a mascot. To be part of the Orange family means being part of a caring professional, creative and scholarly community.
Orange stands for a unique approach to academic excellence. The Orange culture is one that thrives on dreaming up ways to change the world and working to make them happen. Orange also means imagining, innovating and collaborating. It means public service, not just in volunteer opportunities and partnerships, but also through the professions and the visual and performing arts. And I am learning that Orange means improving the quality of how people live, interpreting experiences through a humanistic lens and finding solutions to the most pressing issues of the day.
The Orange spirit is present in our classrooms, labs, studios and performance spaces, but also in the Syracuse community, Washington, D.C., New York City and Los Angeles. I have learned that the Orange community can be found in Santiago, Strasbourg and Shanghai—among many other places—because Syracuse University is global in its reach.
What I have seen tells me that the Orange ethos champions the impact and importance of inclusiveness. From the beginning, Syracuse University has welcomed people of all races, sexes, religions and nationalities. Even through difficult times, I am gratified to learn that Syracuse aspires to be welcoming to all and is determined to make that aspiration real.
As I become part of this community, I look forward to meeting with faculty and students, and the staff who support them, to learn about your educational journeys, scholarship, research and creative work. I want to understand your perspectives, hopes and ideas. These conversations will help me truly understand all that it means to be part of Syracuse University.
Each fall at Convocation, Chancellor Syverud assures new students that they are now and Forever Orange. Today, I too am part of the Forever Orange tradition. I look forward to joining you on campus very soon, and I am eager to learn what Orange means to you.
Vice Chancellor and Provost