Welcome home to NEW — A message from Interim Principal Professor Dickson Eyoh

Students walking along the sidewalk near pillars with New College spelled across them
Professor Dickson Eyoh
Professor Dickson Eyoh, Interim New College Principal

I am delighted to welcome you to New College – whether it’s your first year at the University of Toronto, returning for another academic year, or a continuing member of our community of faculty, staff, alumni, and friends.

The start of a new academic year is always a special time on campus as it brings fresh perspectives, transformations and renewed energy. I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming months as you discover or rediscover New College and everything it has to offer.

It is my honour to lead the extraordinary group of New College students, faculty and staff as interim Principal for a second year at the College. It is a pleasure to see the vibrancy of our community returning to our buildings and outdoor spaces after the summer months as students settle back into campus life. There are many things that make New College special including our dedication and commitment to activism and inclusion that can be found throughout our programs, faculty and community.

Our academic programs continue to develop and flourish, so much so that a New College founding program, African Studies, has advanced into a distinct academic centre, the African Studies Centre, within the Faculty of Arts and Science as of July 1, 2023. This change reflects the importance and growth of the centre’s academic priorities and areas of focus; however, they will always be a part of NEW as faculty members, students and colleagues from the centre continue to participate in the College’s life.

Two images depicting a group of people planting
Nikibii Dawadinna Giigwag youth and New College community planting the New Forest

If you haven’t had the chance yet, please explore many of the newly revitalized spaces across New College including the College’s quad where this summer we welcomed the Nikibii Dawadinna Giigwag youth and program mentors and the New College community to plant the understory within the New Forest as part of our ongoing collaboration with the program.

Nikibii Dawadinna Giigwag, which is Anishinaabemowin for Flooded Valley Healing, is a program for Indigenous youth to think through the planning and design of green infrastructure while being informed by the teachings of the land shared by Elders and Knowledge Keepers. We have been a partner of the program for the past six years, supporting the youth in planting trees in the quad.

As we move into the Fall semester, New College is committed to continue contributing and investing in the vitality of the NEW community through participation in all facets of college life, which includes involvement in student governance, and participation in social events organized by the New College Student Council and other student organizations, the Alumni Lecture Series, and workshops by the New College Writing Centre and the D.G. Ivey Library to only name a few.

Our community is a vibrant and active group with many different things going on that health and well-being may not be a top priority. Both New College and the University of Toronto have many resources available to those who need assistance and encourage everyone to make time for physical, emotional and mental health needs daily.

One last note, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who worked tirelessly to make a safe return to campus possible, and to those who laid the groundwork to welcome back 6300+ New College students this year. We look forward to continuing to find new ways to make New College an innovative, creative and forward-thinking space while ensuring it’s a home away from home for our students, faculty and staff.

It is my hope for the 2023-2024 academic year that students, faculty, and staff feel inspired, encouraged and supported at New College while enjoying a rich and rewarding university experience.

Best wishes for a successful year ahead and welcome home to NEW!