We had a lot going on this week as students finished their classes and started to think about final exams. Our Relay For Life was a big success. As usual, it was emotional, heartwarming and fun for all who participated. Most importantly, the students have raised more than $37,000 for the fight against cancer. It’s not too late to support their cause with a contribution. You can do so here.
Last weekend, the Green SHUs were out in force for a clean-up at the Birdseye Boat Ramp in Stratford. It was another great example of our students giving back to the community in a way that is meaningful to both them and their recipients of their generosity.
The weekend also offered a chance to see our performing arts students in action. Both the chamber ensembles concert and the two dance performances were outstanding.
On Monday, our senior nursing students presented their capstone projects, which represented a semester of extremely hard work. The projects showed thought and imagination and ranged from childhood obesity to exercise options for seniors.
Also, on Monday, 10 students from University College were inducted into the Alpha Sigma Lamda National Continuing Education Honor Society. Membership is reserved for students with a minimum of 24 credit hours who maintain a GPA of at least 3.2. Congratulations to these adult learners who have achieved academic excellence while balancing the demands of professional and personal life.
On Tuesday, we had the honor of welcoming a team of professionals from Goldman Sachs to the Martire Center. Nine Goldman Sachs employees spent the afternoon working with our finance students in a series of workshops that covered such topics as defending your resume, workplace etiquette and preparing an elevator speech. The event concluded with yours truly interviewing Goldman Sachs President and COO Gary Cohn. He shared his views on leadership, choosing the right people to work for you, taking risks and much more. We are extremely grateful to Gary and the entire team from Goldman Sachs for taking time from their busy day to work with our students.
Tuesday was also the bone marrow drive sponsored by State Senator Tony Hwang. Thanks to all of you who participated in this important testing. You now may have the opportunity to save a life.
Wednesday brought the annual Campus Life Leadership Awards. I am still feeling the sting of being called out on the typos in my tweets—in front of my wife, no less! That said, I do want to congratulate the Pioneer Award winners—Manuela Contreras ’18, Adyel Duran ’17, Lily DiPaola ’16 and Jessica LaFlam ’15. I also want to congratulate Marie Nakos, who received the Doug Bohn Unsung Hero Award, and Nicole Gittleman, who took home the John Croffy Outstanding Leader Award.
Yesterday was Campus Donor Day—a time to celebrate faculty, staff and students for their generous gifts to the University. Thus far this year, faculty and staff donations have reached over $150,000, and student gifts totaled $13,700. In addition, Trustee Gary Levin ‘78 and his wife Mary Anne Levin ’78 once again challenged the students and matched their gifts dollar for dollar up to $12,500. We thank them for their support of the Student Philanthropy Campaign for the second consecutive year. And I thank all of you for your generosity as well. I hope you enjoyed the tacos and churros from the Taco Loco truck.
Last night, the Senior Portfolio exhibit opened in the Art & Design Gallery outside the Edgerton. It is an incredible display of student talent.
I had breakfast this week with State Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey. We had a great conversation about our concerns regarding some of the proposals for the state budget as well as other issues that impact both SHU and Fairfield—the district that Cristin represents. I appreciate her understanding of our challenges and look forward to working with her in the future.
I also had dinner with the student ambassadors this week. It was wonderful spending time with these students who devote their time to welcoming our prospective students and their families. Thanks, again, to all of you.
Unfortunately the news was not all good as we continued to deal with the ramifications of excessive partying at some of the homes where our students live off campus. Last week, I met with the mayor of Bridgeport and members of the Bridgeport City Council and Bridgeport Police Department, as well as our own administration and Public Safety team. I am hopeful that students heed the letter issued by Dean Wielk. I know that this behavior is not indicative of the overall Sacred heart student body and our Pioneer spirit! I hope that we can all wind down the year with productive study and responsible fun as we prepare for finals.
Some of our students traveled to a rural community in Guatemala for an alternative spring break through the Office of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning. Under the oversight of their adviser, Professor Charlotte Gradie, and Edwin Rojas from the local nonprofit CERNE, the SHU delegation worked with the community to assess and respond to its needs. One need they cited was a lack of safe and ventilated cooking stoves. Working through the nonprofit HELPS International, the SHU group raised funds to provide five ONIL stoves to the community. Congratulations to student Adyel Duran who spearheaded the initiative and to all the students who participated. This is the kind of news I like to write about!
Once again, I want to encourage faculty and staff to come out Monday night to 63’s and join me in serving late-night breakfast to the students. It’s always a great time.
If you want a break from studying for finals this weekend, there is plenty to do on campus! The annual Mr. SHU competition takes place tonight. Come out and cheer on your favorite candidate! Tomorrow is The MAX, a media arts exhibition, in the Martire Center where our media students showcase their talents through the projects they have been working on all year. Tomorrow is also Springfest and the band’s spring concert. Sunday brings a WSHU conversation with author Mary Higgins Clark and the choirs’ Motown music concert. In addition, you can see the musical comedy High School Technical both tomorrow and Sunday in the Little Theatre.
Have an enjoyable and respectful weekend.