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Words on accepting appointment as Yale’s 23rd president

Peter Salovey ’86PhD is currently Yale’s provost. He accepted appointment as Yale’s next president in this speech, delivered November 8, 2012.

Thank you all so much for being here today: a day that is thrilling, awe inspiring, and humbling… all at once.

As a social psychologist, I have always been fascinated by the importance and power of place. Just as physical settings can generate profound nostalgia, so can they inspire. This room—the Common Room, of the McDougal Center, in the Hall of Graduate Studies—is a special location for me. I stepped on to this campus for the first time as an entering graduate student in psychology in the fall of 1981, wandered over here to HGS to pick up my ID card and—if I remember correctly—also to buy a membership to the GPSCY (the Graduate & Professional Student Center at Yale).

A decade later, I was back in HGS once again, at the request of then-Dean Tom Appelquist, to chair a student-faculty committee mapping out what is now the McDougal Center, this very place. And in January 2003, I was delighted to be full-time in HGS as the new dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

And now I find myself once again in HGS introduced as Yale’s next president. I could never have imagined this day when I first entered this room. It has been a journey of learning and listening; it has been full of surprises and inspiration. I am so fortunate to have had the incredible experience of being at Yale for the past 31 years. I am excited to contemplate the next phase of my time at Yale with you, and I hope I can look forward to your continued support, wisdom, advice, and energy.