Chancellor Douglas A. Girod

Message: Thank you

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Earlier this year at Commencement, I told the Class of 2017 that I had some insight into their state of mind because, like them, I too was preparing to leave Mount Oread and was experiencing a range of emotions.

This week, as I approach my final day as chancellor, I still feel that combination of excitement, pride, happiness and sadness. But more than anything, I feel thankful. I feel fortunate. And I feel honored to be part of the University of Kansas and to have had the chance to work with you along the way.

We have achieved great things during the past eight years — from revamping the student experience, to earning National Cancer Institute designation for our cancer center, to leading a historic fundraising effort that will support KU for years to come. We have elevated the university’s national stature and transformed the way KU serves the state and world. The university is stronger than ever, thanks to your work.

I am especially excited about the future of the university under the leadership of our incoming chancellor, Dr. Douglas A. Girod. As many of you know, Dr. Girod brings tremendous experience and leadership abilities to this role, and it makes me happy to know KU is in good hands. Moving forward, under Dr. Girod’s guidance I urge you to remain committed to our mission as a public research university. Never lose sight of our sacred obligation to provide a quality education to our students, to serve our state, and to improve our world through research and scholarship.

Most of all, in this final message to you, I want to say, “Thank you.” Thank you for supporting the University of Kansas, and thank you for supporting me. I will always be grateful to you for welcoming Shade and me to the university in 2009 and for making this a remarkable experience for us. Leading this institution is a privilege I will always cherish.

Forever a Jayhawk,

Bernadette Gray-Little

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
Chancellor's Vision

The mission of the University of Kansas is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world.

We will do that by raising the expectations we have for ourselves, the aspirations we have for our state, and the hopes we have for our world.

KU is in the midst of a comprehensive effort to ensure the university is ranked among the top tier of public international research universities.

Through Bold Aspirations, our strategic plan, we're changing the way we prepare students for success. We're fostering research and scholarship across all disciplines. And we're sharing the benefits of a flagship university with our state and world.

This effort is supported by Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, as well as our initiative to reduce administrative costs, Changing for Excellence.