I hope everyone had a great first week of classes. I have been enjoying seeing both new and familiar faces during my travels this week. I am looking forward to meeting more of you at the Freshman Induction on Wednesday and the President’s Gala on Friday. In the meantime, I want to encourage those of you who I have not had the opportunity to meet to stop me and introduce yourselves if you see me out and about. I also want to request that you follow me on twitter at @SHUprez. Not only is it a fun way to touch base with you all, but I confess I want to keep my twitter follower bragging rights with certain other members of the SHU leadership team.
By all accounts, Move-In Day was a great success. I want to thank everyone who came out on Saturday to help the incoming freshmen unload their vehicles and get settled in the dorms.
One of the many ways that we will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary year is by commemorating other historical events that took place the year SHU was founded. On Wednesday, we celebrated the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, “I Have a Dream” speech with a broadcast in 63’s and the Edgerton Plaza. It was a good reminder that our founding took place during a challenging and exciting time in this country’s history. Fifty years later, our mission continues to be to challenge students to think critically, analyze carefully and evaluate with a sense of justice and proportion—and to send graduates out into the world who, like Martin Luther King, Jr., will participate in the wider community through service to others.
Mary Jo Mason, director of the Counseling Center, stopped by my office this week to talk about Fresh Check Day, which will take place Wednesday, September 25, and Saturday, September 28. The goal of Fresh Check Day is to create an approachable atmosphere where students can talk about mental health and suicide. Wednesday’s event will offer relaxation through vibrational sound massage and therapy dogs. There will also be presentation by a young man who survived a nine-story suicide jump. On Saturday, there will be booths, interactive exhibits, food, prizes and much more. My hope is that most—if not all—of the University will make this a campus-wide event. It is important that we remember that mental health is just as important as physical health or academic standing.
A concert in the Pitt Center by Sammy Adams Saturday evening is just one of the many activities for students on campus this weekend. Stop by “Just SHU It” tonight on the Chartwell’s patio to find out the many ways you can get involved at SHU outside of the classroom. Color Wars on Sunday is an event designed to bond the freshman class. Teams representing the three freshman dorms and commuters will compete in physical and mental challenges to determine which group reigns supreme. It sounds like campus will be the place to be!
Wherever you are, I hope everyone in the University community has a fun and relaxing long weekend.