Despite the football team’s first loss of the season to Bucknell, we had a wonderful homecoming weekend with great weather and more than 500 families returning to campus to visit their alma mater. The beer garden and BBQ tent was a big hit as were the other activities, including the alumni Mass, that were scheduled throughout the weekend. We received a lot of positive comments about the changes and growth here, and it was good to see so many old friends. To check out photos from the various events throughout the weekend, click here.
One of our special guests during homecoming was a seeing-eye puppy in training named Grand. In general, we don’t allow dogs on campus, but an exception was made for Grand after his trainer, who was planning a visit with her daughter—a 2015 lacrosse recruit—called to ask permission. We received a thank-you email from her this week explaining what a great experience it was for Grand who needs to learn what to do in crowds where there are multiple distractions. In her note, she expressed appreciation for every single staff member she encountered while here for making her, her daughter and Grand feel welcome. She described it as “assisting this puppy in fulfilling his destiny.” Thank you all for doing what you always do!
Homecoming weekend included SHU’s fourth annual Blessing of the Hands ceremony in the Chapel, which was filled to capacity with family members of the nursing students and nursing alumni. This has become an important and meaningful tradition as the students prepare to begin their clinical experience. Last spring, under the leadership of Professor Shery Watson, a Blessing of the Hands ceremony also took place at our campus in Dingle, Ireland, for nursing students there. The ceremony took place near a holy well with Brother Sean Ahearn conducting the blessing. To see a video of the ceremony, click here.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that one of our Upward Bound students, Geranne Darbouze, was a finalist in the Caribbean American Heritage Essay Contest. I am pleased to share that Geranne won for her essay entitled “Queen Nanny: Warrior Woman.” Congratulations!
I was pleased to see so many faculty and staff turn out for our annual State of the University message. The news is good as we are experience unprecedented success—something that is not happening with many of our peers. That doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels. We need to stay focused on the goals of our Strategic Plan and continue to put the needs of our students above all else. For those who missed the meeting, the presentation has been posted on Blackboard.
It was also nice to see a full house for the annual anti-bullying concert in the Chapel. The beautiful music of 4 Heart Harmony was interspersed with advice from Professor Terry Neu of our Griswold campus on how to prevent bullying. I want to thank John Michniewicz, Galen Tate and 4 Heart Harmony for continuing to throw light—and song—on this important topic.
I had chance to duck into the Edgerton Wednesday night to see the performance by our student improv troupe, the Awkward Handshakes. It was incredibly entertaining. They will be performing again on December 2, and I highly recommend you try to catch it.
If you haven’t had a chance to head down to Stamford for the FTMA program’s film festival, there are plenty of exciting events still on the agenda. Tonight, there is a screening of Boardwalk Empire and a conversation with its director, Allen Coulter. Tomorrow, Hitchcock’s Rope will be screened, and the discussion will be led by Professor Sid Gottlieb of the communication and media studies program. There will also be a chance to see films by some of the FTMA program’s students tomorrow. On Sunday, there will be a 30th anniversary screening of Amadeus and a discussion with its producer, Michael Hausman; writer, Peter Schaffer; and actor, Tom Hulce. The turnout for the opening awards gala last night was great. Congratulations to Justin Liberman and Damon Maulucci for their hard work in putting this event together. It is a fun and educational way to raise awareness of our exciting FTMA program.
Next Thursday, the Art & Design Gallery at the Edgerton will begin featuring an exhibit entitled “Faces of Heart,” sponsored by the Stamford Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute. There will be several interactive and engaging events and presentations during the next two weeks designed to increase the awareness of how to prevent heart attacks and strokes. This opening joins the Fresh Check Day and the Wellness and Health Fair in making October 2 truly a day devoted to health awareness.
This weekend is the first of four open houses scheduled for interested members of the class of 2019 and their families. We added an additional weekend this year to make it more comfortable for everyone after we had large attendance at the three we hosted last year. All indications are that we will continue to have a lot of interest in seeing what we have to offer. A variety of activities—both informational and fun—are planned. I know we can count on all of you to make our guests feel welcome and assist them in any way they may need.
Enjoy the weekend!