Saturday, May 15, 2010
The end of the academic year is always an incredibly busy time on campus, and this year was no exception. One thing that strikes me during this time of year is the very different ways our students make their own personal connections at the college. When I attended the Athletic Awards banquet, I could hear the pride in the voices of our coaches as they described the contributions of the members of their teams, and there was great energy in the room as team members cheered each other on. At our Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony, I recalled when I first met this year's officers and I thought about how much each of them had grown in poise and confidence as they worked together to provide leadership to this important group. At the Honors program graduation celebration, I felt the deep connections that students make in our honors courses, with each other and with the faculty. Each of our campus centers had picnics to celebrate the end of the academic year. As students and faculty at our Newark Campus Center sat down for a picnic - including competitive games of bingo and a prize wheel - I was reminded of the close connections students make in the more intimate environment at our Centers. When students walk into a campus center, they are likely to be greeted by name. Students at the Victor picnic were presented with certificates recognizing their unique talents and in Geneva there was a brand new celebration for campus center students who are graduating. At the Spring Arts Festival, students in our music program performed with their friends and displayed their work - another very close group on campus. At the Nursing pinning ceremony this morning our graduating nurses will share the stage at the CMAC with nursing students who are completing their first year in the program, all in white uniforms and caps (which they are likely to never actually wear on the job!). This is a traditional ceremony where the graduating nurses will "pin" the class that follows them. It always reminds me of the connections students make with faculty and students within their programs as they work together to master their disciplines. There are so many more ways that students make connections at FLCC - from residence halls to work study jobs to student government to clubs and events, our students forge lasting relationships that connect with their own personal interests and needs.
Our commencement speaker, Dana Hansen Chavis, will speak today about the importance of relationships in living a fulfilling life. I know our graduates will be thinking about the relationships they built during their time at FLCC and how those special connections shaped their time with us.