We have reached the end of the 2017-2018 academic year and sighs of relief and cheers of joy are resonating throughout campus – from students and faculty alike! In the words of T.S. Eliot, noted British author and poet, “April is the cruelest month.” Although we know Eliot spent time at Harvard and Oxford, it’s unlikely he faced the types of grading deadlines, end-of-year pressures and other academic rituals that are common at the modern university.
April was also one of our happiest months, as we paused to celebrate student achievements, congratulate upcoming graduates, recognize faculty accomplishments, celebrate the work of our staff, reflect on all of the successes of the prior year, and look forward to a summer that takes on a slightly more relaxed pace. Faculty members often use the summer to travel, reset their research agenda and plan for the upcoming year. Before long, however, next year’s first-year students will arrive for summer orientation, and the cycle of the academic year will be renewed.
Looking back over the last several weeks, I am amazed at how many activities and student events we enjoyed. This year’s Lit Fest was a huge success, with Paul Beatty and other great authors giving inspired readings. Our music and art students presented their capstone projects with amazing creativity; our design students completed their final projects with remarkable ingenuity; and many of our students submitted term papers that demonstrated their research achievements. On my way across campus yesterday, the academic year was beautifully captured as I saw two coeds posing with their mortarboards and Deshaun Watson jerseys in front of the Tiger Cub. What a great picture!
From my office, I see students saying goodbye for the summer and taking the unmistakable “end-of-the-semester” stroll across the library bridge. As we transition into the summer, I am reminded that the absence of students on campus is temporary, but we can look forward to fewer meetings over the next two months and possibly less traffic.
Congratulations are in order for a number of CAAH students and faculty who are receiving University-level awards this week:
I also want to recognize Jan Holmevik of English, who recently took the gavel as the new president of the Faculty Senate and Matt Powers of the Landscape Architecture program, the most recent CAAH graduate from the President’s Leadership Institute. Congratulations to all these members of the College who have been recognized by their peers for their outstanding teaching, research and/or service to Clemson University.
I close with the sad news of the passing of Nick Peck, the longtime Tiger Band announcer and author of band’s signature “The Band That Shakes the Southland” tagline. Nick was one of the first people I met upon my arrival at Clemson and he will be missed by all of us in the Clemson family.
Congratulations to the Class of 2018 and best wishes to all for a fun, productive and relaxing summer.
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