Campus is buzzing with all the activities the end of the school year brings. Final projects, senior recitals, term papers, thesis completion and art exhibits all converge in April, bringing a sense of excitement, celebration, nervousness and relief – depending on whether you’re a student, faculty member or parent!
April is also a time when faculty see the fruits of their work over the course of a student’s time on campus. As Dean, I am extraordinarily proud of the accomplishments of our students under our faculty’s tutelage. I have a unique perspective on a daily basis to see the distinctive complexity and diversity of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. With disciplines ranging from Landscape Architecture to Philosophy, we prepare students for a world that is changing at an exponential rate. There is no doubt our faculty take great care in the multiple responsibilities of teaching every undergraduate student a majority of Clemson’s general education competencies, in addition to specific areas of study in the arts, design and building, and the humanities. I believe our faculty have a commitment to engaging our students in teaching how our past informs the future, clear modes of communication, and the development of creativity and critical thinking skills.
Last week the College inducted the founding members of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities Hall of Fame. We inducted 17 members of the founding class at an amazing ceremony and dinner with our department leaders introducing each inductee who had been nominated by the 10 academic departments. Congratulations to each inductee for their honor! (Please see story above.)
Also in March, we honored Mickey Harder on her upcoming retirement as a full-time faculty member and director of the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts. After 44 years at Clemson, including 16 years as Brooks Center director, Mickey has provided transformational leadership for the performing arts in the state, region and nation and incredible educational opportunities for Clemson students. Her work as a passionate arts presenter and visionary leader has clearly placed the Brooks Center as a world-class performing arts center. Please help me congratulate Mickey on a remarkable career!
This month I feature the Production Studies in Performing Arts degree program, which is housed in the Brooks Center. The program uses the center as a living-learning laboratory that merges student engagement opportunities in a professional roadhouse with an academic degree program – a nationally distinctive degree program. Now in its 16th year, the program has grown to close to 100 majors from an initial class of 12. Students choose from specific concentrations in audio technology, music or theatre with core classes in subjects that include website development; mock interviews; discussions with industry professionals; arts administration; grant writing workshops; arts leadership; writing, critiquing and presentation skills; and attendance at professional arts events. The degree program has graduates sprinkled throughout the performing arts industry, from Nashville to New York to touring Broadway shows. As my home discipline, I couldn’t be prouder of the alumni, students, faculty and staff involved in our Production Studies program.
In closing, I extend spring greetings for April and warm wishes from campus. Go Tigers!
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