“Our overriding objective is to create a community where excellence in teaching and learning is our hallmark, and it’s impossible for me to list in the few minutes I have today all of the many ways that our faculty, our deans, our staff, and our students have in the past year have contributed to this effort,” said President Dana Mohler-Faria, as he kicked off the 2013-2014 academic year at the annual opening day breakfast.
More than 500 faculty members and staff filled the East Campus Commons for the event.
Introducing the president, his Chief of Staff Brenda Molife detailed some things that occurred over the summer. These including ongoing construction projects, a visit by the men’s basketball team to Cape Verde, and the second year of the Bridge Program, which brings middle school students to campus for a two-week immersion in the college experience.
The president’s talk focused on accomplishments and next steps. As for accomplishments: “Our students of color are now graduating – thanks to the work of all of you – at a rate on this campus that is higher than all students nationally in our mission class. This is a tremendous accomplishment and to you goes the credit, The energy on the campus is just amazing to watch,” he said.
As for the near future, the president expressed a need to reevaluate the university’s General Education Requirements, the core curriculum and the BSU mission statement.
Because of the growth of the faculty and staff in recent years, the opening day breakfast was moved to the newly-renovated and expanded East Campus Commons. The dining room in Tillinghast Hal had been home to the breakfast since the tradition was inaugurated more than three decades ago.
The president urged those in attendance to celebrate the institution’s accomplishments and to use them as a foundation to move forward.
“We have now moved ourselves to be in a position to move to the next level, and there is no stopping, there is no pausing.,” he said. “The journey continues, and everything we’ve accomplished is not to be relished but instead to be appreciated as another step forward.”
At the opening day breakfast, the following faculty and staff were presented with medallions from the president in honor of their quarter-century of service to the university: Liz Chappuis, staff associate, Department of Biological Sciences; Sue Crosby-Tangen, associate director, Athletics and Recreation; Dr. Sandra Faiman-Silva, professor and chair, Department of Anthropology; Paul Fairbanks, professor, Department of Mathematics; Kevin Manning, circulation manager, Maxwell Library; Dr. Uma Shama, professor, Department of Mathematics; Nancy Wallenmaier, librarian two, Maxwell Library. (Story and photos by David K. Wilson, ’71; video by Michelle Hacunda, ’12, Office of University Advancement)