The month of October has been full of visits from our extended SHU family. After an exciting Homecoming Weekend, we welcomed the families of our students this past weekend. It was equally exciting as they came to campus to check in on their student Pioneers, enjoy the beautiful fall colors here on campus and have fun, SHU style. The weekend’s activities ranged from a wine and cheese reception and SHU Hoops Madness with a special performance by the music group the Sugar Hill Gang to the Kodak Tailgate Party, the football game with more than 5,000 Pioneers fans in attendance (the largest crowd in SHU football’s history) and Family Weekend Mass in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. Visitors also had the chance to hear the SHU choirs’ “Follow Your Dreams” concert. Parents, thank you for the gift of your presence.
This weekend, the focus was also on families at the International Conference on Child Rights and Sight, which we co-hosted with Yale and the Distressed Children and Infants International (DCI). Conference participants—including a group from SHU—came together to share their efforts and ideas for creating a more just society for children disconnected from health care, education and family. This is our latest collaboration with DCI, and I’m grateful for the civic engagement opportunities it affords the SHU community.
Our Irish Dance Ensemble had a big weekend, too. The team performed at Villanova’s third annual Irish Dance Festival and won first place in three categories while placing in two others. This was the group’s first intercollegiate competition. Their next competition is at the University of Dayton; however, we’ll be able to see them here in Pioneer Nation when they dance in next weekend’s Holiday Extravaganza at the Edgerton. Congratulations on a great success.
This week, SHU employees are preparing for Blue Jean Blue Out day on November 6. Next Friday, staff members wear their favorite jeans to work in exchange for a five-dollar donation. Proceeds honor Coach Nof and will go to the Colon Cancer Alliance. What a great and creative way to support a fellow employee’s efforts to stamp out colon cancer!
This week was also Harvest Week with events happening each day leading up to Halloween. The celebration included seasonal snacks, pumpkin decorating, psychic readings and even trick-or-treating. A big thanks to our student government for making these fun fall activities possible.
Jennifer Mattei and Mark Beekey have received a $148,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The Long Island Sound Futures Fund Grant will help them and their colleagues—including SHU students—continue their coastal restoration work at Stratford Point. Congratulations!
Thursday, the SHU Theatre Program premiered its latest production, They’re Playing Our Song. It continues throughout the weekend, and with humor from funny man Neil Simon, it promises to be a great time.
Graffiti can have a negative connotation, but not right now here at SHU. Over the past two weeks, graffiti walls have replaced the usual exhibits at the Art & Design Gallery outside the Edgerton. Our students have been invited to use the walls to freely express their thoughts on anything. The instigators call themselves R.A.T. (Revolutionizing Academic Territory), and they will document our students’ social commentary and art until the walls come down. I’m impressed with our students’ bold creativity and their eagerness to be heard on issues that impact their generation.
Yesterday, a team from Consumer Reports was on campus to do research for an upcoming article in the magazine. The article will focus on scales that provide information beyond weight, such as body fat, water, bone mass, etc. To that end, the team visited SHU’s Life & Sport Analysis Clinic at Cambridge to have their body fat tested in the University’s Bod Pod. They will compare those results with the results they get on various “smart scales” to determine the best products out there. That they needed to come here from Yonkers to do their testing is further testament to the great equipment and experiences we are providing to our students.
Earlier today, I sent a memo to the faculty, staff and students announcing that the University has entered into an agreement to purchase 150 acres of land on the Housatonic River in Milford that includes the Great River Golf Course and a 32,000 square-foot clubhouse. We are excited about the opportunity to more than double our current acreage and the many opportunities this purchase presents to us.
There is plenty to do on campus this weekend. Before everyone gets dressed up for Halloween, our graduate admissions department is hosting a graduate open house at 9 a.m. for prospective students. Our athletes are also out in force. Today, men’s soccer plays LIU Brooklyn at 3 p.m. Tonight, women’s field hockey plays Fairfield at 7 p.m., and men’s ice hockey plays Canisius at 7:05 p.m. Then, tomorrow, men’s basketball plays the University of Bridgeport at 1 p.m., and women’s ice hockey faces Holy Cross at 3:30 p.m.
Have a happy Halloween, and don’t forget to turn your clocks back for the end of Daylight Saving Time.