Today, we celebrate a national championship.
Our men’s hockey team left the Frozen Four with a NCAA Division I title to their name, and we left our seats — in Pittsburgh, Payne Whitney and common rooms across campus — having borne witness to a display of the stunning self-confidence and determination that should always define the culture of this campus.
Saturday night, we pulled on our Yale sweaters, excited and optimistic, but hesitant. We were unsure if we could win; commentators, critics and Quinnipiac all doubted us. But we were willing to come together as a community for our friends, our classmates and our fellow Yalies.
If we did not always believe — our team did. The nation’s oldest intercollegiate team, clad in Yale Blue, reminded us what athletics can achieve — and, in doing so, they showed us what Yale can be at its best.
We are honored to share in that pride.
We hope you will continue this celebration. That you will remember the way that Yalies walk with an extra bounce today, taking pride in an accomplishment of epic proportions and a community that is connected by something that transcends the groups to which we are so connected. It is our college pride — given voice in the chants that echoed from Pittsburgh to New Haven.
Stepping onto Old Campus for the first time, you might imagine the Yale of tradition. And it is a place with tremendous history; you will find it all around around you. But if you look closely, you will see the times are also changing.
We are excited to welcome you to a Yale not only of tradition, but also transition.
Yale has been celebrating its president this year. After 20 years, University President Richard Levin is stepping down in June. He has had remarkable successes, and you will see them as you tour Science Hill or wander the recently renovated residential colleges. Yale has never been stronger, and you will hear it in the sounds of discussions and debates, practices and performances taking place perpetually around our home.
But when you start your first year, your freshman class will be joined by a freshman president: Peter Salovey. As the two of you begin together, things will be changing, and you will be able to help change them. As a class, more than any other in two decades, you will have the ability to define, for Yale and for the world, what it means to be a Yalie. We hope this is a challenge you will choose.
Yale can give you the chance to experience college like nowhere else — the chance to simultaneously succeed in both classes and clubs. But we hope you will not take this culture for granted.
Sometimes this means you must be critical of the University. Other times, it means you will be congratulatory. This is our challenge at the Yale Daily News, and we hope you will visit 202 York St. this evening at 9 p.m. to examine that challenge with us.
Part of our obligation as Yalies is to leave after eight semesters, having made this campus a better place in some way. That is the spirit which unites us, and we hope you join us in that spirit and in our love for Yale.