Where did March go? As we come into the full bloom of spring, it’s a pleasure to reflect on the last few weeks and attempt to understand how time can accelerate with such abandon. I look at the calendar and have a hard time processing how there are less than 15 days remaining in the spring semester. It seems like football season just ended and we were enjoying the holiday break – now the end of the year is upon us.
March is one of the most enjoyable months of the academic year (and not just because of spring break)! It is a month filled with opportunities to meet candidates who are visiting campus for positions in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. The incredible power of the Clemson national brand is reaffirmed as I talk to the impressive candidates from across the country, and sometimes from across the world, who want to join our faculty. (A candidate even came from Australia for an interview).
One successful candidate is Dr. Becky Becker, who will be joining us as our new chair of the Department of Performing Arts this summer. Dr. Becker is currently Professor of Theatre and Assistant Director of the Center for Global Engagement at Columbus State University in Georgia. She is very active in the Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival and the Southeastern Theatre Conference, and has expansive experience in global engagement through her service as the study abroad coordinator at her school.
I am also pleased to announce that Karen Land has been promoted to Public Information Director for the College, following Jeannie Davis’ retirement. Karen is well-positioned to provide outstanding leadership for our communication efforts. Prior to her arrival at Clemson, she served as a News and Media Specialist for Arts and Culture at Indiana University. She has a Bachelor of Arts, Fine Art and Journalism degree from Indiana University and is a passionate advocate for the arts, design and the humanities. I look forward to her promoting news of the good work of our students, faculty and staff.
Last month we dedicated the new public art piece, “Foundation,” in Lee III. It’s a stunning piece of metalwork that beautifully reflects light that changes hour by hour, according to the angle of the sun across Lee Hall. Congratulations to the students and faculty from our Atelier InSite Creative Inquiry project, who facilitated this project and to the artists Volkan Alkanoglu and Matthew Au for their work.
Speaking of spring break, last month several members of the Clemson Architecture Foundation Board of Directors joined Director of the School of Architecture Kate Schwennsen and me in a site visit to our programs in Barcelona and Genoa. I can confidently report that we continue to give our students transformational educational experiences through our Fluid Campus program. One of the highlights of the trip was an exclusive “backstage tour” of the Gaudi’s incredible Sagrada Familia, where we were able to see how laser imaging and 3-D printing have come together to dramatically accelerate the projected completion date to 2026. A special note of gratitude to Miguel Roldan (Barcelona) and Sylvia Carrol (Genoa) who provide wonderful leadership for our European-based Fluid Campus programs.
On March 9 we inducted eight new members to the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities Hall of Fame. Congratulations to this year’s class, who have made significant and lasting contributions to the College:
Above and beyond
You may have heard about our recent encounter with bats in the Brooks Theatre. With the change of weather, a colony of bats became active in the theatre, and we needed to temporarily move some of our April events off-campus. Our Brooks Center production team and administration have gone above and beyond the call of duty. They took swift action to ensure student safety, and to produce performances at alternate sites. Since I did not get bat remediation training in grad school, I am deeply grateful for their work!
I close with news of another national ranking for one of our programs. Our Department of Landscape Architecture was recently ranked 5th in the country by “The Best Colleges” website. Congratulations to the faculty and staff in Landscape Architecture for this prestigious recognition.
To our faculty, staff, students, donors, and friends – thank you for all you do for the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. To our prospective students – I hope you will join us!
Best wishes to all for the month of April.
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