February has disappeared and the promise of warm weather has campus abuzz with classes in high gear, faculty immersed in teaching and scholarship, and the spring semester racing toward spring break. Like clockwork, the pace of the spring semester accelerates as the temperatures rise. As both students and faculty look forward to a brief break, the last six weeks of the academic year are filled with the anticipation of final projects, recitals, exhibitions and exams.
One of the joys of academic life is the renewal of the process each year. One class of students goes into the world with the value of a Clemson degree in hand, and simultaneously, we look forward to the next generation of Tigers joining us in August. As the myriad of events that mark the end of another year come and go, we begin to look forward to the next year with student recruitment, fall class scheduling and faculty hiring in process. It’s a cycle that never fails to renew a spirit of rebirth and excitement.
In early February, I was honored to share some of our accomplishments and strategic plans at the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities with the Clemson University Board of Trustees. It was an opportunity for me to reflect on the core values of our College and our opportunities to transform the next generation of students. The report was well-received, and I am appreciative of the support of my colleagues in putting together the report. I was grateful that the board showed their appreciation of the value of the arts, design and humanities within the Clemson mission.
The Board of Trustees recently presented three CAAH faculty with the 2017 Award for Excellence, in acknowledgment of significant national accolades. History professor Maribel Morey was honored as an Andrew Carnegie Fellow, and Victor J. Vitanza and David Blakesley of English were honored as Rhetoric Society of America Fellows. Among the board’s 2017 Staff Awards, Linda Tindal was named Student Choice winner. Tindal is coordinator for the women’s leadership and Pan African studies programs, in addition to her work on behalf of two president’s commissions.
Last week we received more excellent news with the announcement that English professor Rhondda Robinson Thomas had won a Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship. The award will allow Thomas to create the traveling museum exhibition “Black Clemson: From Enslavement to Integration” around her groundbreaking research on the history of Clemson.
I am extraordinarily proud of all of these members of the CAAH family and their awards.
Jeannie Davis, who has been the College’s public information officer for the past 12 years, retired at the end of February. Jeannie has been instrumental in the college’s brand, messaging and spirit and will be missed by all of us. She has been the voice and heart of the college and a trusted member of my leadership team. I wish her joy and happiness in retirement.
In closing, I want to thank all of you for your support and encouragement of our students, faculty and staff. It’s a great time to be a Tiger.
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