Bram Elias told the Class of 2003 and other new students last week that he could offer advice to ensure their success at Michigan, but thats best defined individually. Its best if you create your own goals and pursue them.
He did, however, offer a few suggestions from the student perspective to make the U-M feel a bit more like home, which he promised it will, eventually.
While he told his soon-to-be colleagues they could take or leave his advice, he did have a request:
Please go out of your way to make a friend of another race. Theres no shame in admitting this isnt easy and it might take effort. But if you fail to make interracial relationships here, in a community that is ethnically multicultural and celebrates diversity, you might find it impossible to do so on graduating and returning to a world that is statistically more segregated and less accepting.
There are agonizingly few institutions in this country that give their members opportunities to create intellectual relationships across boundaries. Michigan is the greatest one in the country precisely because its right at the heart of it and comes closest to succeeding in creating a tolerant, equitable, considerate society. Dont blow it.