FROM THE EDITOR: What excellence looks like at Rutgers.

David W. Major
Photography by Nick Romanenko

When I wrote my profile of Jonathan Holloway for the Fall 2020 issue of Rutgers Magazine, one of my aims was to convey the new president’s remarkable humanity. This trait is available for you to see for yourself in a video series of 10 interviews called Faces and Voices of Rutgers (“This Is What Excellence Looks Like”). In them, Holloway sits down with members of the Rutgers community—faculty, staff, students, and alumni—to learn how each personifies the university’s commitment to diversity and achievement in its education, research, and community outreach quests. These encounters were essentially the first time since becoming president in July 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was raging, that Holloway was able to talk to people in person. To him, each of these 10 people is an example of what excellence looks like at Rutgers.

Holloway reiterated the theme of excellence during his inauguration as Rutgers’ 21st president, which took place on November 5 and capped off two days of celebration (“Ushering in a New Era”). “Rutgers for too long has shied away from embracing aspirations worthy of its potential,” Holloway said during his address, his graciousness on full display. “We have been cautious about telling the world who we are and what we can become. While we should not let hubris be our guide, let us be unafraid to be bold, comfortable in our skin, and confident in our abilities. The theme of this inaugural year, ‘Rutgers: This Is What Excellence Looks Like,’ is embodied in this call and it captures my vision for the university.

“When I look at Rutgers, I want to see a beloved community in which we recognize the things we hold in common so that when we disagree, we will do so without denying one another’s dignity. This is what excellence looks like.

“When I look at Rutgers, I want to see a place that aspires boldly to be both a leading engine of world-changing research and a vehicle for social mobility for students across the socio-economic spectrum. This is what excellence looks like.

“When I look at Rutgers, I want to see a public university that embraces the call to service as an ethical obligation and inspires that call in every member of the community. This, surely, is what excellence looks like.”

David W. Major is the editor of Rutgers Magazine.