A message from the chancellor: Thank you, Carolina

In a campus email, Kevin M. Guskiewicz expressed gratitude for his time as chancellor and encouraged Tar Heels to be hopeful as a new semester begins.

Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz sipping from the Old Well on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill on the first day of classes.
(Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Dear Carolina Community,

As you begin your return to campus and prepare for the first day of classes on Wednesday, I am finishing up my final days as your chancellor. It has been an honor and a privilege. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you and to encourage you as you begin this semester, to continue your important work of teaching, learning and growing as a community in service to our state.

I am filled with awe and excitement for the promise of this amazing University. We have an incredible foundation that we should be proud of and the future is bright. Our University will never be perfect, but I believe that if together we unconditionally love our community and the promise of what we can achieve, anything is possible. I’ve had great conversations with Interim Chancellor Roberts during the past few weeks. I hope you will welcome him and work alongside him for the benefit of our great University. I can’t wait to see what you, our faculty, students and staff, continue to accomplish together.

Our University is 230 years old with a rich and meaningful history of growing, changing and building on the foundations of those who have come before. Each one of us plays a role in our University’s story, yet we are only here for a sliver of time in the grand scheme of that story. As a faculty member, chair, center director, dean and chancellor, I have seen a lot of great chapters in that story. I encourage you to think about your own role and your place in that story. What do you want your legacy to be? What impact do you want to have on this place that we all love?

At the conclusion of the Tar Heel Bus Tour each fall, I ask everyone to describe their experience with one word. My one word for being your chancellor is “gratitude.” I am so grateful to every person who has been on this journey with me and my family. Thank you to our staff for your dedication, passion and perseverance through some of the toughest challenges we’ve faced in decades. Thank you to our students for your curiosity, your creativity, your humor and your shouts of “Kevin G!” from across the quad. I am so grateful for our world-class faculty, who change the lives of our students and have been like family for so many years. Thank you to our donors and alumni who support our University’s promise. Finally, thank you to the people of North Carolina for your unwavering investment in the nation’s first public university. It will never be forgotten.

To the Class of 2024, you are an amazing group of students whom I have loved getting to know as we persevered through the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond together. I’ll be watching you on May 11 as you walk in Kenan Stadium, celebrating your achievements together with an out-of-this-world speaker that you will hear about soon. As you go out into the world, I know that while you will accomplish great things, you will miss our campus and the spirit of our community. Yet you’re not alone. There are Tar Heels everywhere and I’ve had several of them from the state of Michigan already reaching out to me in my new chapter. So despite the mixed emotions I have in saying goodbye for now, I know that the Tar Heel love will show up often wherever I go….and in East Lansing for certain. It will show up for you, too.

One of my favorite traditions on campus has always been taking the first sip at the Old Well at the start of every semester. It symbolizes hope. No matter what you did or did not accomplish last semester, this new semester brings the hope of that promised (if often elusive) 4.0. I encourage each of you to be filled with that hope as you think about this semester and your future.

Go Heels!


Kevin Guskiewicz