Carnegie Mellon University

Letter from Dean Mary Ellen Poole

Dear Friends,

This past August at orientation, I stumbled upon a characterization of our college that started out as a kind of improvised joke with the incoming first-year students: With great fanfare, I welcomed them to the "College of Emotional Intelligence." To their great credit, they instantly understood what I was talking about, and a few of them even laughed appreciatively (getting the dean’s jokes is always welcome, but not really necessary). My fellow deans may not have been as amused, but I stand by a theme that started to emerge last year and that, as I continue to peel back layers of the (delicious) onion that is CMU, stands out with ever greater clarity:

Artists express the conscience of society and call us to action.

Skimming the virtual pages of this magazine reinforces the point. You will read stories of the important and paradigm-shifting work of our faculty, staff, students and alumni. Of connections insisted upon in an increasingly fragmented world. Of the creation of tools that make us more mindful, more able to make better decisions in everything from the rehearsal process to the selection of building materials. Of projects that link personal and social histories, and demand that we reflect on that interaction. And of initiatives that empower those without power, community activism that breathes life into our values.

I am so proud to be associated with this group of humans who — as I suspected two years ago when I began to think about the possibility of joining you — use their considerable powers for good. I wish you all a year filled with the joy of doing your best and highest work.

With admiration,

Mary Ellen Poole

Stanley and Marcia Gumberg Dean
College of Fine Arts