This year marks the start of my first full year here and this opening my first on this campus. As I think about this year, some images and anticipations already come to mind.
The first of these is meeting many of our new students during College 101. I was fortunate to join some of the College 101 panels, where I got to hear faculty and staff members describe their passions for education and for SCC, and where I heard students ask earnest questions about college success and life at SCC.
The faculty in-service program comes to mind next. Sitting in on a portion of the book discussion of The Swerve, this year’s common reading selection, was the single most intellectually stimulating moment in recent memory. I could not have been more impressed with the vigorous level of scholarly discourse surrounding the themes of this book, reminding me once again that our faculty is comprised of top scholars in their fields. I observed at the close of the discussion that I wish that we had recorded the discussion and sent it to the book’s author. Mr. Greenblatt would have been moved by the discussion, as I was.
The new faculty orientation luncheon assured me that we continue to hire the best in their fields and those with a passion for teaching and education.
Around campus, I notice the usual beauty of our buildings and grounds. Every visitor to campus says the same – that this is a beautiful campus and one that is clearly cared for with skill and passion. I have not worked on a campus where this is more true. This pride of place both reflects and feeds the general passion and pride that we all feel about our work here at SCC.
Other signs of the new year – athletic teams back at it on our fields for pre-season, a bustling bookstore and refurbished café, packed sidewalks and hallways, and yes, even the full parking lots. While enrollments are down this fall as anticipated, we still have a robust and healthy fall contingent of students.
And once again I am struck by the number of ways that we provide for area residents to become engaged in growth and learning. Not being one to miss out, I have enrolled in a golf class this fall, golf being a requisite skill of the presidency. My wife Annie is enrolled in a continuing education class on children’s book writing, daughter Emma in an introductory theater workshop, and Uncle Bob in a computer class. Budding actress Emma was also fortunate enough to be cast in the chorus of the fall production of Young People’s Theater.
So, we are clearly all in as we dive into my first full year at SCC. While my golf game may take some time, it has taken no time to fall in love with SCC – the place and the people – and to come to realize time and again what a special place this is. I wish everyone a great school year full of adventure and learning and I look forward to the same with you.