There is no doubt summer is almost over – more students are arriving daily, faculty are stopping by the office to say hello, and there is a decided increase in pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Although the number of days remain the same between spring commencement and the arrival of students for the fall semester, I have no doubt that time somehow seems to shrink every year.
I have to admit, however, that through summer, the weekly freshman orientation sessions remain exciting for me to see. Matriculating freshman and transfer students bring wide-eyed enthusiasm to campus for a two-day immersion in academic and social life. I love seeing the students beginning to make friends for a lifetime, meet their academic advisors and navigate campus with a map or iPhone in hand. As faculty also start to appear in greater numbers, there is an unmistakable sense of anticipation from all for the new academic year.
Although the pace of academic life is markedly slower in the summer months, we have news to report, new faculty to welcome and a new year to plan.
Law, Liberty and Justice
I am extraordinarily proud of Felicia Finney, a philosophy major with an emphasis in our Law, Liberty and Justice program who interned at the South Carolina Supreme Court this summer.
This prestigious internship is even more meaningful for Felicia because her grandfather, Ernest A. Finney Jr., was the first African American appointed to the South Carolina Supreme Court since the Reconstruction Era. Finney, who was later elected its chief justice, sadly passed away in December.
In Felicia’s application essay for her internship, she wrote of her dream to become a defense attorney, a dream that “stems from the fact that I believe the law will allow me to create a voice for those who don’t often feel that they are heard.”
The internship is one of several offered through the Department of Philosophy and Religion for students interested in law and government.
A new face in performing arts
We recently welcomed Becky Becker to campus as the new chair of the Department of Performing Arts. Becker, who earned her Ph.D. at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, succeeds David Hartmann.
Hartmann, who successfully completed eight years as chair, is looking forward to returning to his full-time faculty status and professional theatrical design work. I am looking forward to seeing Becker’s thoughtful and strong arts leadership throughout the country begin to impact our students, faculty and programs in the Brooks Center.
Awards of note
Several notable awards and recognitions were announced at the end of the school year and over the summer. I hope you didn’t miss them (and stay tuned for more announcements soon):
Congratulations to all!
I am happy to share the news that the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities is participating in an online mentoring program here at Clemson. CAAH On Deck is our new program that connects CAAH students with professionals in similar fields. Current students will hear more about this exciting new program in the fall. We are continuing to add alumni to our pool of mentors. If you would like to join the program, please fill out a professional online profile on CAAH On Deck.
Architecture + Health milestone
It is heartening to see the latest national recognition Joseph and her research team have received for their efforts in designing a safer operating room through the RIPCHD.OR (Realizing Improved Patient Care through Human-Centered Design in the Operating Room) project. This honor is a reminder of the important work going on at Clemson in the field of health-related design. It also reflects on the leadership of Architecture + Health director David Allison and the director of the School of Architecture, Kate Schwennsen.
This month, the graduate program in Architecture + Health marks its 50th year. The Architecture + Health studio will now carry the name of program founder George C. Means Jr., thanks to the latest gift from Ben and Becca Rook of Greenville. The Rooks’ generous long-term support of this program and its faculty will have a lasting impact on Clemson students. In addition, their gift will ensure that for years to come our students will know the Means name and his reputation as an extraordinary teacher and mentor. We are most grateful to the Rooks.
I close with the sad news of the June passing of Sybil Miller. Sybil was the departmental staff member who served as the “front door” for students and faculty in the Department of Performing Arts. Sybil was a tremendous asset for the department and will be missed by all.
Best wishes to all as we build up to the beginning of the 2018-2019 academic year. I wish all of you a refreshing and restful end to the summer.
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