Meet Duquesne: Tips to have a successful semester

Duke Archive.

The start of the new semester can bring many challenges, worries and fears. Here are some tips from notable Duquesne leaders on how to make this term successful:

“I’m thrilled that we’re about to embark on a new and exciting academic year. Being in Pittsburgh and learning together matters, because we’re a true community. I’m so impressed at how well we all worked together during the past year’s challenges, and I’m confident we all can again collaborate to stay safe and achieve great things. There are so many things Duquesne students can do to make this a positive and rewarding semester. As we work toward more normal operations on campus, do your part and get vaccinated—help keep your families, friends and members of the University community safe so that you and your friends can continue to make progress toward your academic goals. Take the time to really dig into what you’re good at, and how that’s good for the world—be that problem-solver who always thinks bigger and outside the box. Take advantage of the knowledge, research, creativity and life lessons offered by our world-class teacher-scholars here at Duquesne. They’re as enthusiastic about your future as you are; they’ll walk alongside you to realize your boldest goals. Since its founding in 1878, Duquesne has advocated for the marginalized and our university continues to help build a better Pittsburgh. Join us in our community involvement in local neighborhoods, where we collaborate with residents to address systemic challenges in health, education, legal access, economic development and more. When you work with our neighbors in service projects, you help Duquesne live out its mission. I wish all of our Duquesne students the best of health, success and happiness in the fall 2021 semester.  This will be a great year, because we have the best, most engaged students imaginable!”

-Duquesne University President Ken Gormley



“These are what I share as ‘guideposts’ of success. There are six of them.

  • First, carry yourself with respect, be kind to others and act with integrity.
  • Second, expect to be pushed outside of your comfort zone, embrace it, keep your head down, your chin up, study hard and work hard—really hard.
  • Third, don’t be afraid to reach out for help and ask questions—reach out to your faculty, staff and administration. We are here to help you succeed.
  • Fourth, get involved in something that adds to your experience. Show up and enjoy your Duquesne community.
  • Fifth, be grateful for those who support and love you. Parents, siblings, friends, those who have helped you be here today—let them know how grateful you are.
  • And sixth, perhaps the most important guidepost: cultivate your purpose while you are here. Your purpose is your why. It will guide you and point you in the right direction.”


-Duquesne School of Law Dean April Barton




“While you will continue to demonstrate your unique and individual talents at Duquesne, don’t lose sight of the importance of connections and community. Find people who will support you, look out for you and, most importantly, challenge your thinking. Find your people because none of us make it alone.”


-Duquesne School of Education Dean Gretchen Givens Generett 





“My one-word piece of advice: explore! This is a time to expand your horizons and discover your passion. And Duquesne is the right place for it—whether it’s studying a new subject, taking on a research project or becoming involved in the community.”

-Duquesne School of Pharmacy Dean James Drennen





“I would encourage students to focus on their well-being and mental health. Taking care and making time for yourself are really important aspects of self-care that can make all the difference in reducing stress and helping you to focus and relax.”

-Duquesne Title IX Coordinator Alicia Simpson





“As your provost, I am excited to begin another academic year here at Duquesne. While we continue to deal with the ongoing pandemic, I’m pleased that we have begun to make progress toward normal operations at the University. As a health care professional, however, I must tell you that a good way to make this a great semester is to ensure you get your COVID-19 vaccine and upload your card to the student health portal. Understanding and respecting the facts about the pandemic and getting vaccinated are steps in the right direction. Vaccines remain the safest, most effective defense against COVID-19 and the Delta and other emerging variants. Remember to follow the temporary indoor mask requirement that is in place for all employees and students that is, for now, in place until Labor Day weekend. Together, we were successful last academic year in following the University’s pandemic protocols and practices, and I know that I can count on our students to be just as responsible and accountable this year in keeping all of us safe. At Duquesne, we offer you a truly horizon-expanding education. Explore your majors and programs for new possibilities and how they can connect to many other fields in both productive and meaningful ways. I know that perspective will, in turn, help you make an even bigger impact on your profession and the people it serves. Take the time to enjoy your academic journey here but take the time to ask hard questions, be open to new ideas, get to know our faculty and take advantage of the many resources available at the University. Overall, do the work. Go to your classes, give them the attention they deserve and be engaged during class time, and organize and manage your time effectively. These steps can only help you on your professional path. And remember, even after you graduate, Duquesne will always be in your corner—the supportive and inspirational relationships you make here never stop giving.”

-Duquesne Provost David Dausey.