This was my favorite kind of week – lots of interaction with students. On Wednesday, we had the Induction of the class of 2016. It was a great ceremony with just the right mixture of celebration and solemnity. My thanks to Professor Gary Rose for giving the faculty welcome and to Mia James for providing the student welcome. The marching band did a wonderful job accompanying the freshman class up the hill, and the program included a terrific performance by the combined University choirs and featured soloist, Stephanie Taglianetti. Pictures of the ceremony can be found here and copies of the welcome speeches can be found here.
As a side note, I am pleased to tell you that I won my bet with Vice President of Marketing & Communications Michael Iannazzi. He will be treating me to a bountiful lunch, along with our in-house social media coordinator, Bill Haug ’12, who will train me a bit more on how to use all these gadgets. A grateful thanks to all of you who signed up to follow me on Twitter. For those who haven’t followed me yet, you can find me @SHUprez.
Thursday night was the second annual President’s Gala. I had a great time, and I hope you all did too. There was wonderful music provided by the deejay and band, The Zoo, and the food was delicious. Best of all, it was a chance to meet many of the students I had not connected with yet and to catch up with returning upperclassmen. I love kicking off the academic year with an event like this. Pictures from the gala can be found here.
Earlier in the week, William M. Jennings, president and chief executive officer of Bridgeport Hospital, was on campus to speak with health professions and business students about ethical dilemmas and new trends in health care. He spoke candidly about some of the issues he has had to handle during a career that has taken him to several medical institutions around the country. He also invited students to weigh in on some of the decisions he has made, which led to a lively discussion. While everyone did not always agree on a particular course of action, I know we all agree with Mr. Jennings’ overall message that ethics and good moral values need to come before any other motivation, including profits.
In exciting news, I just came back from a Board of Trustees meeting where they voted to move forward with construction of a new academic building to be built at the corner of Jefferson Street and Park Avenue. We expect the building to house the Welch College of Business, media studios and labs, learning labs and a new learning center, a large lecture hall and a café. This is an important step as we transform and grow and continue to provide facilities that meet the needs of our students and programs. We will update you as plans for the building progress.
Additional congratulations are in order for Education Professor Jacqueline Kelleher, who this week was elected chairman of the Bridgeport Board of Education. This is outside validation of what we already know – that she is extraordinarily committed to providing an outstanding education to students of all ages.
A group of commanders from the Bridgeport Police Department were on campus Friday for the first class of the Police Leadership Institute, a 12-week course on leadership and management. The program, taught by Jim McCabe, associate professor of Criminal Justice, is unique to this area and arose from Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett’s desire for quality training opportunities for his personnel. Participants will receive college credit for successfully completing the course and may choose to continue with either our undergraduate or master’s program in Criminal Justice. Congratulations to Jim for successfully developing and implementing this innovative course!
The Pioneer football team is back in action after a bye last week. They will take on the Colgate Raiders of the Patriot League in Hamilton, NY, on Saturday. They are looking for their first win of the season after a heartbreaking four-overtime loss to Morgan State in the season opener, and we wish them great success.
Hasn’t the weather been perfect this week? I love the summerlike days with crisp mornings and cool evenings. The good news is that it is expected to continue into the weekend. I will kick off my weekend tomorrow morning with a chance to meet and greet prospective students and their parents who will be here for an open house. I am excited to catch my first glimpse of the class of 2017, which will be our 50th Anniversary incoming class!
Have a fun and relaxing weekend!