That’s the only word I can use to describe Inauguration Week. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the week of my inauguration provided a unique opportunity to tell our story, to celebrate our accomplishments, and to dream together about our future. We took full advantage of that opportunity.
Visitors to campus, for example, were impressed with the hospitality and individual attention they received. A friend emailed me from Pennsylvania with his compliments on how well organized everything was. From parking and liturgy to the reception—and everything in between—the day was completely seamless. I’m so proud of the spirit of community and partnership that so clearly marked the work that went into this undertaking. Even when one of my family members took an untimely spill, our staff and faculty were quick to treat her. (Yes, she is fine.)
Please join me in thanking all who made the week—especially Inauguration Day—so special. In particular, I’d like to recognize the Inauguration Committee and Subcommittee participants: Sr. Maggie Hopkins, Cristie Jacobs, Lucy Keane (trustee), John Leonard, Mary Klink, Ed Taylor, Megan Gossens, Samantha Tiller, Steve Bullock, Al Brisack, Suann Saltzberry, Susan Serrault, David Petroff, John Graham, Lisa Towns, Kelsen Alexander, Mary Sambrook, Martha Burnett, John Fields, Bert Pinsonneault, Chuck Friedrichs, and Stephanie Durkin. A long list, certainly…and still an incomplete one. I am grateful to all of you who put our best foot forward.
On a personal note, I was touched by the level of support I felt on Friday. I don’t take your support for granted, and I appreciate the chance to earn it every day.
Inauguration Week Highlights
(above) Working on 'Project Linus' making blankets for those in need in our area. It was really special that our students welcomed Sean and Erin to help out during Inauguration Week.
I had the opportunity to tell our story to the membership of Downtown Rotary during the week.
A spirit of Community and Partnership was so evident on this particular day. Thank you all.
As we prepare for our next Board of Trustees meeting, we are in the process of doing some research with current sophomores on campus regarding what it would take to attract them to stay on campus as juniors (and possibly seniors). With entering classes stabilizing near 300, attracting more upperclass students to stay on campus is an important step in filling our expanded capacity. Last spring, we explored the idea of converting some Dominican Hall rooms to either co-op or apartment-style housing; this research is the next step in that process.
In the meantime, the internal campaign committee has been making the rounds this week, hosting events on campus and visiting offices with coffee and Ramen noodles (not, if memory serves, to be enjoyed together). Thanks to the committee members, and to those of you who have contributed to this important project. Your contribution matters both in moving us toward our fundraising goal and in demonstrating to other potential donors that our faculty and staff support this effort to build community among our undergraduates.
Civic Engagement at a Personal Level—November 4
Perhaps the most basic way to engage in the civic life of our community is through voting. I have no interest in advising you how to vote—millions of dollars have been spent to influence that already. Whether for high profile races like the campaign for governor or lower-profile (and often equally important) local elections, I would encourage you to apply our Dominican stadium of study, reflection, and action to this important process. It will take more than just voting to strengthen our democracy…but that’s a pretty good place to start.
In case you were wondering
I was asked recently about why I send this on Sunday afternoon, in part because of a concern about work-life balance (both mine and what I assumed about others). The good news is that my work on this is usually completed by about Thursday; I then forward it to John Graham and Ed Taylor, who get it formatted and scheduled…so none of us is sitting at our desk on a Sunday night working on a campus email. We do it this way because of research that shows a lot of people get a head start on their work week by going through email either Sunday evening (I plead guilty to this) or first thing Monday. I don’t expect that you are on email all the time. I’m not—at 6 p.m. Sunday, when this is sent, I’m picking up Erin from basketball practice or getting ready for dinner. It is just a day and time that seem to work well for getting the word out…I’m open to other suggestions if you have reasons to believe there’s a better way, and we will probably test some other days and times as we move forward.