With all the activities going on this year—including the addition of many special 50th Anniversary events—there are times when some tough choices have to be made. One example was this past Wednesday night when John Murphy of Western Connecticut Health Network and Susan Davis of St. Vincent’s Health Services were discussing the impact of health-care reform on Connecticut hospitals in the Schine at the same time Jordan Burnham was at University Commons sharing his struggle with mental health and alcohol and how his life has changed after a suicide attempt. Both rooms were filled to capacity. Other opportunities this week included Professor Michael W. Higgins’ lecture about Sacred Heart’s beginnings and the future of Catholic higher education, the Welch College of Business’ presentation on sovereign debt and a wonderful performance by Pentatonix. There is truly something for every interest here.
Yesterday, we unveiled the mural that Professor Nathan Lewis has been working on for about a year. It is currently on display in the gallery space at the Edgerton and, if you haven’t seen it, I recommend that you make a point to do so. It features images of more than 70 members of the SHU community—past and present—and truly lives up to its name, The Spirit of SHU. Nathan involved all members of the community as he decided what to include in the mural. As he said in his remarks yesterday, even if your image is not part of the mural, your spirit is. That we are able to debut a piece of this magnitude is not only a testament to Nathan’s great talent, but to the special kind of family that is the SHU community.
On Wednesday, I gave a presentation to faculty and staff on the State of the University. The news is mostly good. We are fortunate to be thriving at a time when not all universities are. As I said then, our success is because of the talented and dedicated faculty and staff who show their commitment to SHU and our students every single day. Once again, I thank you for that.
The weather held off for the most part last weekend, which led to an extremely successful Homecoming Weekend. From the Alumni Awards Luncheon on Friday to the Alumni Mass on Sunday, the weekend was jam packed with fun and renewed friendships. Highlights included a benefit comedy performance by alumnus Kevin Nealon on Friday evening, who played to a packed Edgerton Center and delighted the audience with his humor, and a record-breaking 78 points by our football Pioneers on their way to a victory over Chowan and a 4-0 start to the season.
Congratulations to Audrey Beauvais of the nursing faculty on winning the prestigious Josephine A. Dolan Diamond Jubilee Award from the Connecticut Nurses Association for her contributions to nursing education. She will receive her award at the annual CNA convention in Cromwell on October 23.
The weather report looks great for this weekend—perfect for a couple of events that are scheduled for outdoors. First, I want to encourage everyone to stop by Fresh Check Day on Saturday at the 63’s patio. Not only is it an opportunity to participate in interactive exhibits, hear some music, have some food and win some great prizes, but it’s a chance to stop and think about how the semester is going, how you are settling in and how you are doing in general. As you visit the various booths to get your card stamped for prizes, members of the counseling staff will “check in” with you just to see how you are doing. This program is relatively new to colleges, and we are excited to be one of the first to offer it for our students.
Also, Monsters University will be playing on the big screen in the plaza outside of the Edgerton Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. It is an excellent venue for a movie, and I hope you will check it out.
Have a great weekend!