Greetings from just outside Disneyland in Anaheim, California. As you may have seen above, I am honored to have the opportunity to spend a few weeks rehearsing some of the finest college musicians in the United States as music director of the 2018 Disney All-American Band. The quality of the student musicians in the All-American College Band is world-class, as is the Walt Disney Company.
During my 30-year relationship with Disney, I’ve noticed two striking similarities between Clemson and Disney. First is a laser focus on customer service. At Clemson University, we are determined to provide our students with a world-class educational and living/learning experience, one which gives our graduates a full set of tools to succeed in life and make the world a better place. The Disney Company offers guests a one-of-a-kind experience they will never forget, and one that cannot be replicated outside the park. Disney’s focus on customer service is unparalleled and its attention to detail is truly remarkable. A culture of customer service pervades everything – the custodial staff, management, meticulous landscaping and stunning entertainment and attractions.
The second similarity I have noted this week is branding, and a neverending quest to protect the brand and everything that it stands for. When you see Walt Disney’s famous signature or Mickey Mouse’s ears, you know it represents a company that provides world-class entertainment and family experiences you can trust. When you see the iconic Clemson tiger paw, you know it represents a high-quality, Top-25 public university and athletic teams that are always competitive. Building a brand takes decades. Protecting the brand is a 24/7, 365-days-a-year job that, as we all have seen recently, can be jeopardized in a blink of an eye.
I am thrilled to spend a few weeks in California, and appreciate the opportunity to help spread the Clemson brand west and to support the best live entertainment company in the world.
STEAM rises at Artisphere
In May, a large contingent of Clemson students and faculty showcased our collaborative work in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) at Greenville’s Artisphere festival. An annual highlight of Artisphere is the Clemson STEAM tent, where interactive, educational demonstrations are on full display. Approximately 75 student and faculty volunteers worked together the weekend after graduation to highlight our student and faculty projects.
Thousands of visitors explored and participated in activities that featured several projects that grew out of research in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. Visitors programmed drawing robots in “R2D2 Meets Rembrandt,” developed by Barbara Ramirez. They learned how to draw in one- and two-point perspective, and how to transform ideas from paper to reality in “2D Drawing to 3D Models,” developed by Shannon Robert, Will Avery and Matthew Leckenbusch. Guests played the Clemson carillon bells remotely in “Coding for the Carillon: Automating Clemson’s Bell Tower,” developed by Linda Dzuris and a team of Creative Inquiry students. Visitors experienced how theater lighting affects color perception in Tony Penna’s “Color Booth,” and they explored how to create shape-shifting structures and materials through origami. In addition to all of these activities focused on STEAM education, Valerie Zimany led student and faculty volunteers from the Clemson Department of Art as they spent Artisphere weekend presenting live demonstrations.
Congratulations to all of our participating students and faculty for representing Clemson with such distinction.
The 2018 class of Creativity Professors was announced at last month’s end-of-year faculty/staff meeting. In the School of the Arts, Anthony Bernarducci (Performing Arts) was announced, as was David Lee (Architecture) from the School of Design + Building and Ben White (Philosophy and Religion), who will represent the School of the Humanities. Congratulations to these deserving faculty members.
I also announced the peer-reviewed Dean’s Excellence faculty and staff award winners:
Congratulations to each of these faculty and staff members for being recognized by their peers for their outstanding contributions to the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities!
Promotions and tenure
Finally, I want to recognize and congratulate these faculty members whose well-deserved promotions were recently announced:
In closing, best wishes to all from the “Happiest Place on Earth,”
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