Embarking on a New Journey Together | University of Portland

Embarking on a New Journey Together

On July 1, 2022, the first day of his Presidency, Dr. Robert D. Kelly sent the following message to members of the University of Portland community.

Dear Members of the UP Community,

Today, July 1, 2022, is my first day as President of the University of Portland.

It’s my first day as your President.

Along with my wife, Dr. Bridget Turner Kelly, and our children, I’m thrilled to embark on this new journey with you, the members of our extraordinary UP community.

As I stated at my Introduction Ceremony this past April, I assume the role of President with profound joy, deep humility, and abiding gratitude. I will strive, each and every day, to lead and serve our beloved institution in a manner that puts our people, our mission, and our sacred calling first. I view this work as a holy endeavor, and I pledge to embrace this work with my whole heart and mind.

In the times ahead, we will face many headwinds. Living out our mission as a Catholic, Holy Cross institution committed to excellent, face-to-face learning on a tight-knit campus is not without its challenges. My approach to serving and leading UP will be rooted in inclusive vision-setting, intentional collaboration, and collective progress toward excellence in all that we do. These have been the pillars of my work in higher education, and they will serve as my guide as I begin my service at UP.

I am convinced that if we think boldly, work together, anchor ourselves in our Portland community, and leverage the many wonderful blessings UP enjoys, our potential as an institution is boundless.

As we begin this journey together, I would like to briefly share two initiatives with you.

First, as I was discerning whether I was being called to lead and serve UP, I had the chance to learn so much about this community on The Bluff. Of course, though, there is so much more to learn! So, for the first several months of my Presidency, I will engage in a period of exploration. I want to hear from each and every one of you. What makes UP so special? Where should UP go next? To support these efforts, I’m pleased to announce Hope, Renewal, Transformation: Community Dialogues with President Kelly. In the form of intentional conversation, I want to hear from you about UP’s storied traditions and your vision for our bright future. More information on this initiative will be shared soon.

Second, I hope that you will take a moment to follow me on my newly launched Instagram account, @UPortlandPresident. Using Instagram, I will share the many wonderful things that make UP so special. Social media is a fantastic tool, but perhaps you will agree with me that it’s not always the best place for conversation. So I hope that you won’t hesitate to contact me at president@up.edu if you need to get in touch.

I send you my prayers and best wishes for a restful, relaxing summer. I look forward to seeing you when our 2022–23 Academic Year begins.

Thank you, God bless you, and Go Pilots!


Robert D. Kelly, PhD