Friday, September 16, 2011

Faculty Convocation on a Picture Perfect Day

September marks the beginning of the new academic/school year (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) and there are always all sorts of events that take place on college and university campuses.

Today we had our UMass Amherst Faculty Convocation at which 6 of our stellar faculty were recognized for their scholarly and creative achievements.

The day was gorgeous and the above are some photos taken before the faculty and administrators marched into an auditorium for the Chancellor's speech and at the award recognition ceremony.

Chancellor Holub gave a rousing speech acknowledging all the achievements since he became our Chancellor in 2008, alluding to his years as a "freshman, "sophomore,", and with this being his final and "senior" year.

Dr. Mark Fuller, Dean of the Isenberg School told our faculty that the words of the Chancellor especially resonated with him:

"In my first convocation address four years ago I related the story of our crew team’s upset victory over Harvard and Brown in 1871, and the excitement of one of my predecessors, William Smith Clark, in bringing this news back to campus. I noted that teamwork was essential in achieving that victory and I continued: "The spirit and determination of those young men is what we must recapture as a collective if we are going to be successful in our aspirations. Like a crew team, however, we must act in a coordinated fashion, all pulling in the same direction with the identical purpose. My words and direction may assist us, but only with the activities of the entire campus and its many friends can we achieve our desired place among the finest public institutions of higher education.”

An aside -- my college room-mate at Brown, Maria Teresa Davila -- although formally trained as a ballerina, rowed varsity crew at Brown, so I loved the segment of his speech above, as well. Thanks to my Dean for "capturing" it!

After the ceremonies, we were treated to a delicious lunch at the Campus Center -- it was especially nice to see colleagues from across campus from Engineering and Computer Science and to get a chance to catch up.

I assume that the horse above had to make do with hay.