Image of Santa J. Ono wearing a suit leaning on a wall. Text: Image credit: Paul Joseph, UBC Brand & Marketing
Dear University of Michigan Alumni and Friends,

Today I have the honor and privilege of beginning my service as the 15th president of one of the greatest public universities in the world. As alumni and supporters, you know firsthand what makes the University of Michigan such a special institution, and I look forward to tapping into that knowledge in the weeks and months ahead. 

I come to this role with an open mind and an optimist’s spirit. My first several months will involve listening and learning. Already, I have spent hundreds of hours meeting and talking with members of the U-M community. These conversations will help to guide my priorities and inform my approach moving forward. I am learning every day, and look forward to more conversations and consultations with faculty, staff, students and alumni from all three campuses as I sharpen my vision for our collective future.

Here's what is already plain to see – the University of Michigan is a place that seeks out some of the most pressing challenges facing our world and leads the way with solutions. It’s what inspired me to take on this new role. From innovative cancer treatments to protecting our Great Lakes and improving firearm safety, U-M is making a difference in people’s lives. My job now is to further catalyze our tremendous interdisciplinary strengths in scientific research, the humanities, social sciences, the arts, health care and more.

I want to thank my predecessor, Mary Sue Coleman, for her steady leadership and her guidance during this transition. She has generously offered to continue advising me in the coming months, and I will gladly accept her assistance. I also want to share my appreciation for members of the U-M Board of Regents and the incredible honor they have provided me. 

Lastly, I want to thank all of you for your continued support of the University of Michigan. I’m quickly learning how much this place means to so many people. And if we ever cross paths while you are visiting campus, please say hello. “Hi, Santa!” works just fine. 

Go Blue!