Photo of Acting President Marisa Kelly

Acting President Marisa J. Kelly

To our new and returning students: Welcome to the start of a new academic year at Suffolk University. On behalf of the entire University community, I want to tell you how thrilled we are to have you here on campus. Your enthusiasm, curiosity, and ideas energize our academic environment.

Let me offer an especially warm welcome to the newest members of the Suffolk community. There are 1,261 first-year students in the entering class. They come to Suffolk from 34 different states and 56 countries. More than 80 percent will reside in University housing. This group of talented learners, student-athletes, and engaged student leaders will join more than 300 transfer students and nearly 800 graduate and professional students— in law, business, psychology, design, international relations, and many other fields—as the newest members of the Suffolk community.

I believe you will find your time here to be exceptionally rewarding. You have joined a community dedicated to empowering and supporting each of our students. You will find that our talented faculty and staff are deeply committed to working with you as you develop your full potential. This is an institution that offers extraordinary opportunity. It’s a place where learning happens both inside and outside of the classroom. The experience you will gain through hands-on learning opportunities—through internships, clinical programs, and by taking advantage of all that this vibrant city offers—will no doubt prepare you well for lifelong success.

To returning students, we are delighted to welcome you back. And we have been busy this summer preparing new student gathering spaces and exciting programs to enhance your University experience.

The new 5,800-square-foot Michael and Larry Smith Fitness Center in the Ridgeway Building offers spin bikes, elliptical trainers, treadmills, a yoga studio, and more. There are new student lounge, library, and activity spaces across campus, including a two-tiered area in the Sawyer building lobby with an updated Sawyer Café. You’ll also find a new and expanded bookstore in Sargent Hall on Tremont Street and a new Studio Theatre on the 11th floor of the Sawyer building.

We have added innovative and cross-disciplinary academic programs designed to prepare students for professional success while taking full advantage of our urban location. Highlights include:

  • A Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability (CUES) in the College of Arts & Sciences
  • A new Sawyer Business School undergraduate major in Business Economics and in the fall of 2017 a new major in Big Data and Business Analytics
  • At the graduate level, we’ve redesigned the MBA; our new program immerses students in theory and practice simultaneously. The curriculum is innovative and globally focused and ties into Boston’s world-class industries, including health care, finance, high tech/startup, and biotech
  • The College of Arts & Sciences and the Business School will jointly offer a new Arts Administration minor
  • The Law School is offering a new summer program in Galway Ireland

You have so many academic choices during your time at the University. Whether you’re set in your major or still deciding, Suffolk provides abundant opportunities to expand your horizons.

As you move forward this academic year, please don’t be shy. Stop by my office on the 13th floor of 73 Tremont and introduce yourself. While I only recently became acting president, I have served for the past two years as the University’s provost, working collaboratively with the campus community to ensure that we continue to provide you an educational experience relevant to the 21st Century. On that subject and many others, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Again, my warmest welcome and very best wishes as we start what will be a rewarding academic year.


Marisa J. Kelly
Acting President