You came for Yale. What luck — you got New Haven too.

New Haven often comes as a surprise to those used to hearing it in the punch lines of disparaging jokes. The city is rich in its own traditions, culture and challenges.

In many ways, New Haven is an ideal place to go to school. It is small enough that you can find your niche, but big enough to keep you exploring. You can be deeply involved in the community but still lose yourself in the city when you want.

Yale and New Haven leaders are working to rehabilitate the historically tenuous relationship between the University and the city. Recent efforts by both sides to strengthen town-gown ties have altered but not eliminated a strained legacy.

In your four (or more) years here, Yale will continue to re-negotiate its ties with the city, likely fostering both good will and tensions.

But the city will be more than just a background to your studies at Yale. It will also be an essential part of your education.

New Haven provides the chance to learn about communities, the struggles of cities undergoing rapid change, and citizenship.

Whether by exploring parks, service in local schools, or getting involved in politics, students who venture beyond campus find themselves most at home in New Haven.

As new residents, you too will have the opportunity to find your place in the city. Your time here will be most rewarding if you consider yourself not just a resident at Yale, but a citizen of New Haven as well.

The next four years will be an exciting chance to shape and to be shaped by your new city.

Welcome home.