The annual “Welcome Back Reception” was held at the president’s residence on Sept. 3. Hosted by President Shirley Ann Jackson and her husband, Professor Morris Washington, the reception was a chance for faculty—new and returning—to meet and catch up with each other. Rensselaer’s newest faculty members were introduced.

“I am delighted to greet the newest members of our academic community, as well as to see our returning faculty at the start of a new academic year,” President Jackson said. “I am very proud of the quality of the faculty at Rensselaer, and grateful for the deep commitment all of you have shown to expanding knowledge in your chosen fields, and to educating the next generation of leaders.

“Today, we are re-envisioning the meaning of ‘polytechnic,’ within the context of modern challenges and opportunities—in order to be transformative, institutionally, on a global scale,” she said. “We seek not merely to educate young engineers in aesthetics, for example, so that they can design more beautiful machines and bridges. Instead, we educate young people—and develop our faculty—for a world in which artists and engineers collaborate as a matter of course, as do microbiologists and architects, data scientists and Earth scientists—for a world in which polymaths fluidly cross domain labels, and create new fields of knowledge at the borders between domains.

“For those of you just joining Rensselaer,” she continued, “I am delighted to note how many of you have expressed eagerness for new collaborations across the disciplines—to help you push the implications of your work outwards, and to find new applications for it that can change the world.

“I can assure you that you will find ample inspiration, here, among your fellow faculty members and students. We are so delighted to welcome you to the Rensselaer family.”