No matter what the calendar says, it’s officially summer – and we haven’t even hit Memorial Day yet. We know that because of the unaccustomed quiet in the Pitt Center, the wide choice of parking spots, the eerie stillness in the Library.
The calendar is not entirely empty, however. We look forward to the 22nd annual Pioneer Open golf tournament on May 31st. It will take place at the Patterson Club right here in Fairfield, and it looks as if it will be an unqualified success. Like our Discovery Dinner, the Pioneer Open works to raise scholarship funds for deserving students. Despite economic challenges, the University is holding fast to its historic commitment to financial aid, which last year reached $34 million.
And I must commend everyone involved in last weekend’s beautiful Commencement ceremonies, and the Masses and departmental receptions that accompanied them. We are at our best on such occasions, working closely and collegially together. We got to celebrate milestone accomplishments for hundreds of our students, and to recognize that they did not reach this pinnacle by themselves. The commitment and confidence of their families and friends was indispensable. Another key ingredient was the passion and compassion of their teachers and other members of the staff. Commencement is a monumental group effort that recognizes hundreds of individual success stories: it celebrates each of us and all of us at the same time.
This week, we also had the opportunity to celebrate a particularly special group of graduates—six seniors from the Women’s Softball Team, who missed their own college graduation to participate in the NEC Championship games. While they missed this milestone event in their lives, they brought home the championship, and have now advanced to the NCAA Tournament. We applauded these Pioneers in a small, but meaningful ceremony in the Schine Auditorium on Tuesday. I was proud to present each of them with their diplomas. Now, on to the NCAA Tournament—Godspeed!
Another sign that summer is here, of course: I will be taking a break from blogging for a few weeks. Until I speak with you again, I wish all the members of our community – from students and staff to families and alumni – all the blessings of this warm and happy season.