Google Analytics Tracking Code

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Senior Scrapbook: Back Stories

Cliff with Women
This was taken at Twilight at Trinity, the Residential Life senior banquet. Nearly 300 people showed up for dinner, drinks, and jazz. It was originally slated to be at the Storch building, with the skyline in the background. Of course, the only day of rain in the last half year was that day, so we had to move inside to Mabee Hall, which the students actually seemed to prefer, oddly. I took several pictures and promised seniors I would post them on my blog, but almost none of them turned out. So apologies to all of you! Cally Chenault organized this program and she sent me this photo from Facebook. I decided I would use it and call it "Cliff with Women," and then noticed that's what it was already labeled.

 ParentTalkers from New Delhi
Anil and Gurmeet Bakshi have reached legendary status as favorites on the Trinity listserv ParentTalk. Anil does most of the posting, but Gurmeet "watches over his shoulder" to monitor what he says. Probably a good thing given his sense of humor. (Some people will put almost anything in writing.) Their reference to me as "His Dean-ness" on PT over the last several years has brought a certain amount of status to my position, even if the reference is tongue-in-cheek. They were here four years ago to drop off their son Arnav. This trip back was their first in four years. We finally met in person at Friday's Baccalaureate, featuring speaker Dr. Carey Latimore.

Senior Moment

Fitting, indeed, that the Class of 2011 selected my mentor, Dr. Coleen Grissom to offer the toast at Friday's Last Great Reception. Dr. Grissom was the keynote speaker four years ago when the students arrived on campus as new students. True to form, Dr. Grissom did not recycle her material, but referenced it in a touching send-off of this terrific group of seniors. Dr. Grissom, by the way, hired me twice, and promoted me twice. And she has told me that I sometimes use humor inappropriately. Really Dr. Grissom... I learned from the best!
One of a KIND

Commencement featured a student speaker (read on...) and keynoter and alum Daniel Lubetzky. It was a pleasure to finally get to meet Daniel. He gave a terrific speech. I learned of him last year when he set up an annual Roman M. Lubetzky  KINDness Award. This is one of the Student Leadership Awards and goes to a student who exemplifies social vision and kindness toward others. He named the award after his father, a Holocaust survivor and self-educated man. The first recipient of this $5,000 cash award was senior Shelley Ramsey. Click here to see the award presentation and hear words from Roman himself.
 Cantwell Donewell

Nevermind that student commencement speaker Jenna Cantwell was kind of a dark horse in a competitive pool of potential speakers (chosen be fellow seniors by the way). Her speech was strong in substance and style and received rave reviews. The highlight was her mention of the late German professor Herr Sebastian, who had students out to his home when his cancer kept him from coming to campus. What's more, Jenna's parents had no idea she was the commencement speaker until they were seated and opened up their programs and her dad asked her mom if she knew Jenna was speaking. She didn't. And she cried during the beautiful speech. When Jenna mentioned that she and her mom kept the cost of college from her father, it was true. Apparently her mom does the bills and they spared dad the details. Priceless indeed Jenna. And way to get comfy in that Alumni t-shirt! Well played all the way around.
Ten years ago...
Noelle (Stockman) MacGregor, Class of 2001 was not happy that she had to miss her own commencement because she was away representing Trinity in the softball playoffs. She asked then President John Brazil for her own commencement. He obliged and a tradition was born. Who is the skinny man with brown hair anyway? Note that Noelle is a loyal follower of the Dean's List blog. Let's see how long it takes her to comment. (By the way, the coat, tie and pants... Wore them the other day.)

...and Today

The tradition was carried on today as three senior Trinity tennis players, who missed Saturday's festivities, had their own private ceremony. They were Bobby Coconougher, Cory Kowal, and Donald Murray, and they continue on to quarterfinals this weekend. Dr. Richard Burr offered a specially-tailored tennis-related speech recalling his own days as a college tennis -player in 1957. I snapped the above photo when Don Murray was receiving his diploma. Not a great photo, but it does reflect the intimacy of the ceremony. About 25 faculty, staff, and family members attended to see the students become official. Now go Tigers!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Third Annual: The Year in Review - 2010-2011

A review of the Trinity Web page, Trinitonian and Dean’s List archives -- and some vetting by select Student Affairs staff -- results in this year’s review. I am pleased to report that the major Student Affairs goals from the past academic year have been addressed.

Dining Services
After a year-long process, a new meal plan is in place and significant renovations are about to begin in Mabee Hall. Any Einstein can see this will be a good thing.

Greek LifeA revised private party policy, newly approved calendar, risk management consultant reviews, new alumni advisory council, and a new sense of optimism. It’s been a good year. We have great momentum for the future.

Residency Requirement
After significant discussion, the Board of Trustees reaffirms that we are residential, and the best way to express it is through the continuing three-year requirement. That’s what you get when you choose us.

Top Five Stories

1. The economy
Perhaps the least sexy pick for a lead story, but the most impactful. Pell Grants in jeopardy from the federal level, TEG grants possibly being cut at the state level. With costs of higher education, squeezing students whose families are having their own battles with the economy puts everyone under pressure. Colleges, now, more than ever, need to be good stewards of resources.

2. Construction
Before number one, above, ground was broken on the fantastic new Center for the Sciences and Innovation building. This includes plans to move all heating and cooling facilities from the Science neighborhood to lower campus. Proposed trenching is changed to boring underground passageways to limit disruption. We can manage a little disruption as the first phase may open as soon as January.

3. Colin Powell – tickets and speech (and no notes!)
The hottest ticket in town was for this important campus lecture. Tickets were reserved for students, the community, and employees. The shared pick-up time led to some concerns about availability of tickets for students. In the end, most all who wanted a ticket got one. This didn’t happen last time CP spoke here. But, lesson learned for next prominent lecture.

4. ASR
ASR made this list last year, for a change in the constitution to give ASR more power and authority by directly allocating activity fee. The fee is about half here as other places so the students voted to increase it for the next year. Crossed wires led to the proposal not being forwarded for University budget consideration. Students show their frustration with a 10% voter turn-out. Yawn…

5. Snow days
When numbers one through four are long-forgotten, students will remember the day south central Texas froze over, and school was called off and bid day was postponed for a day.


Student giving
Senior gift, disaster victims, the needy in San Antonio. TU students have huge hearts.

Residence hall renovations
Calvert re-built, McFarlin Halls and McLean refurbished, and Miller becomes LEED Gold certified.

Facilities Management response to breaking pipes

Flash Mob
This video says it all (scroll down).

40-34 double OT home football opener win vs. Howard Payne

Best paper ever.

Men's Conference 

Misses (the news we didn’t want)

Proposed Gun law (again) – Allow guns on campus? Put a panic button in the Dean’s Office…

Greg Mortenson – First Reading TUgether book and lecturer loses his luster amid reports of fraud. He is a really nice man though.

Storch Cat – Poor old, evil, balding, possum-like creature passes. Students create a Facebook page to grieve. A campus icon is mourned with… fur ball in cheek.

Former President’s salary figuresCompensation receives national attention

Response to Facilities Management response to breaking pipes (see hits)

Professor leaves mid-fall

Stray dogs

Missing the soccer championships in our own backyard

Under the Radar

Environmental Studies Major approved

Presidential Inauguration

University declares no classes the Wednesday before Thanksgiving starting 2011

First Amendment Week

Women’s History Month

Performer Peterson Toscano

MLK speaker Marc Lamont Hill (Awesome!)

Econ professor takes the helm in Business Administration

University administration changes and re-org

Urban Sprawl

Leadership Awards

Big Hurts

Dr. Tomas Sebastian passes away after courageous cancer fight

2010 graduate Kayla Mire dies in one-car accident

On the Horizon

Renovated soccer stadium – Another chance at home field advantage!

Hertz Connect – Car rentals, from campus, hourly rate, 18 and older, international license accepted… Yes!

Dining – Attention to turn to Commons, Science CafĂ©, Skyline Room

Strategic Plan – Also not sexy. Also a big impact.

Curricular review – See Strategic Plan

Tower lights – Will be ready by fall

No Class Zone – Maybe not this year… But 5-7 common meeting/practice times? Too good to pass on.

ArchiveSecond Annual Review 2009-2010
First Review 2008-2009

What should have made the list? What should have been left off? Make your suggestions. or wite your own blog.