Commencement a special thrill
I’ve lost count how many commencement exercises I’ve attended at UW-Stout as an undergraduate, graduate, faculty member and dean. However, the Saturday, Dec. 13, ceremony was very special to me because I delivered my first address as chancellor.
It is overwhelming looking out onto that sea of faces of new graduates, seeing the optimism in their eyes — and probably relief at having this phase of their long educational journey coming to an end. And to see the pride of the parents, grandparents, other family members and friends of the graduates was heartwarming.
I made it a point to remind graduates that many people contributed to their success, including the dedicated faculty and staff at UW-Stout. Without all of our employees, the success of our students would not be possible.
A Rotary whirlwind
Two presentations to Rotary clubs, one in Eau Claire and the Sunrise club in Menomonie, were on the schedule last week as well. These are good opportunities to connect with the communities we serve at UW-Stout.
It also is a way to learn what the public is thinking. I intend to stay as connected as I can to both the Menomonie community and Chippewa Valley.
Speaking of staying connected, we held our second “chat” or town hall meeting last week, and I couldn’t be happier with the turnout and the great questions and comments we received.
They ran the gamut, from employee compensation to bias issues and everywhere in between. I attempted to answer the questions I could and will seek more information for those I couldn’t.
I truly appreciate all the comments I’ve heard in the first two sessions. We are planning for additional chats next semester, including one in the community.
I couldn’t attend, but I have to give a shout-out to all the UW-Stout people who worked so hard — and dressed like snowflakes — to enter a float in the downtown Menomonie WinterDaze parade. This is all part of our #stoutproud effort, and it was truly a success.
What a great way to help connect the campus to the community.
I am pleased to note that the float was a winner: It won the Judges’ Choice award for having the most impressive overall display.
Thanks again to everyone who put so much of their own time into the float.