Dear Suffolk University Students,

As we begin a new academic year together, I wanted to extend a warm welcome both to new students and to those of you returning to Suffolk. I hope you had a great summer and were able to read a book or two, rest a bit, and recharge your batteries.

You were on our minds during a busy summer here at Suffolk, and I thought you would find it interesting to hear some highlights of what we have in store for you this year:

More Student Support

We understand that college life can be challenging and often stressful. That’s why I want to emphasize that all of us—administration, faculty, staff—are focused on ensuring that you have everything you might need to take care of yourselves. 

One very important change is that students now have 24/7 on-call coverage for mental health concerns so that you are better served in the evening and on weekends. We want to make sure you have the support you need when you need it. The Counseling Center now is joined with Health and Wellness Services, and we are in the process of creating a more integrated model of mental health and health and wellness services. Our goal is for our on-campus unit to serve as a source of referral for any specialized services you may need.

Commencement Changes - More Guests

We are fine-tuning the commencement schedule this year to address a number of needs, most importantly the desire among graduating students for more tickets for family and guests. 

There have been occasions when most undergraduates who received degrees had access to only three tickets each. As a result, some of the first emails I received when I arrived in February were from graduating students and parents asking if we could accommodate more family members and friends at commencement ceremonies. That wasn’t always possible in the past, but this year we will hold separate ceremonies for the Sawyer Business School, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Law School, all at the Bank of America Pavilion. Ceremonies for the graduate programs will no longer be held separately from their respective schools. 

  • The ceremony for Sawyer Business School undergraduates and graduate students will take place on the morning of Sunday, May 19
  • Commencement for College undergraduate and graduate students will take place that Sunday afternoon
  • The Law School ceremonies will be held on Monday, May 20

Introducing a New Brand System

You may have noticed bits and pieces of our new University brand already. Everything from our logo to the language we use in our communications has been revisited and revised. In fact, you can see the new University imagery at the top of this website. It includes updated typography and a dynamic new flame-and-shield symbol. 

The flame is a direct reference to the torch in our university seal and symbolizes upward movement, energy, and the light that knowledge provides. The shield symbolizes our academic strength. It’s one exciting step in being able to tell our story in a more cohesive way, and there is more to come.

Once again, welcome to Suffolk. There’s plenty to learn – in class and beyond – and fun to be had in the city and on campus. I’m very excited about the upcoming year; I hope you are too.

Have a great fall!


James McCarthy