Welcome note from Morehead-Cain President Chris Bradford

*Originally shared with all scholars via email on August 20, 2021. 

Each morning, I make a quiet walk from my new home in Carrboro to my new office at the Foundation. I am struck by the diversity of food options, the sheer number of churches, the grand oaks of McCorkle Place, and the number of t-shirts (and fire trucks!) colored Carolina Blue.

This is my home, now. It is a home that I share with you: a home that buzzes with human potential and seemingly endless opportunity. It is a home that we will care for together, and that we will work to leave in an even better state than we find it today.

I sensed a palpable energy as this day approached: more foot traffic; students carrying furniture; not a seat to spare at Al’s Burger Shack. That energy has also appeared as a growing sense of anxiety around our campus’ readiness for the delta variant of COVID-19.

My interactions with the Foundation staff, and with a few scholars who have stopped by or dropped notes in recent weeks, give me a sense of calm. There are special people here. I do not know what this term and year will bring. But I know for certain that we will rise to meet the challenges that confront us, and that you will have an extraordinary year of learning and growth. I know that your leadership will help North Carolina and the world emerge from the pandemic.

I look forward to seeing scholars in our offices, and I hope that we will have a relatively ‘normal’ term. We are counting on you to model the kinds of public health behaviors—vaccination, masks, and appropriate physical distancing—that demonstrate care for others.

In preparation for the school year, we reviewed and updated the Expectations of Scholars. I believe it is appropriate for you, as a community of leaders, to review and affirm these expectations each year. I also believe that it is important that we, as a Foundation, clarify elements of these expectations on the document itself: including our commitment to academic integrity, and our commitment to ensuring a safe environment that is free from discrimination and harassment.

Our high expectations for scholars have not changed. We simply seek to ensure that these expectations are clear, and that we take a moment to affirm them each Check Day—beginning this Wednesday.

Finally, I have greatly enjoyed reading through your renewal letters. You inspire me with your range of interests, your thoughtful reflection, and the exploration of your goals. I stand ready, alongside the staff and our alumni community, to support your journey. And to productively challenge you a bit, too.

In anticipation,

Chris Bradford

PS: This email was composed while listening to jazz saxophonist and UNC faculty member Rahsaan Barber’s Mosaic. I am reminded that the people on this campus are truly extraordinary. Don’t forget to make time at the start of this term to strike up a conversation with someone new!

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