Friday, July 15, 2011

Student-athletes SHINE and dinner with recent graduates.

Last night I got together with 6 former students - all from the Class of 2011 - at American Flatbread in Burlington and then, of course, we ended up at Ben & Jerry's for dessert. We ran into Evan Dewey and Brian Ahern on Church Street as they were on their way to dinner too. Kimmy Thevenet had contacted me earlier this week asking if we could all get together for dinner soon and I was only too happy to agree. Next to Kimmy (far left) is Jess Sanborn and then Ryan Stanley and on my left is Meaghan Cormier, Will Towne and Sarah Regan. Except for Will, all of them are living and working in the Burlington area and along with a large number of their classmates, they are enjoying Burlington, Vermont in the summer. We laughed (a lot) and talked about how they are all doing (working at a variety of places - some just for the summer and some already with full-time employment). It was great to catch up with all of them and we decided we need to do this again so the next time, it is a barbecue at my house. Chris Kenny is our Associate Athletic Director and Chris compiles data on how well our student-athletes are doing academically. He just released the latest information and it is GOOD. Overall, our student-athlete grade point average is the HIGHEST ever recorded = 3.127. These student-athletes carry a full academic load AND compete in our varsity athletic program which is also very time-consuming. For the first time, the student-athlete overall GPA of 3.127 is HIGHER than the general student body. Also, for the first time, the male student-athlete overall GPA (3.000) is HIGHER than the general male student population. The male student-athlete GPA is the HIGHEST ever. We have been attempting to convince our student-athletes, and especially our male student-athletes that they are expected to do well academically, they CAN do well, and that it is acceptable for student-athletes at SMC to do well in the classroom. Our women student-athletes GPA of 3.242 is their second HIGHEST ever. Also, we have 21 varsity teams and for the first time, 16 of those teams had a 3.0 or higher. Congratulations to the student-athletes, their faculty who work so closely with them, their coaches who support their academic achievement and to the Athletic Department for their continuing support of our initiatives to improve the academic achievement of our athletes.......

Take care, be well, and please keep all of the members of our military and our veterans in your thoughts and prayers. When President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor the other day to Army Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry it was a very moving and important occasion. HIS story is repeated over and over again by members of OUR military - his words (I did it for my brothers - to protect them) get repeated time and time again by the men and women in our Armed Forces - it is so important that we make sure that they know that they have our support - our thoughts and yes, our prayers.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

New students arrive on campus for Summer Orientation

Kayaking at Indian Brook, about 5 miles from campus provides me with great shots like these two. The Great Blue Heron picture was not taken with a telephoto lens but I was that close.....New students for the fall semester arrived on campus yesterday for Summer Registration/Orientation and many of them are also now participating in one of the 4 Wilderness Program Trips or POW (pre-orientation weekend). I attended the advising session held by Associate Dean Joan Wry (a fantastic resource for students and faculty alike) and Prof. Ray Patterson, Religious Studies professor extraordinaire. They advised the new students on HOW to register for classes for the fall and then the students were off to meet with temporary advisors to select their classes. I love having students back on campus as their energy fills the place.

Seth Cole has been the College's Sports Information Director for many years - he also is an alumni of the College and was also our men's baseball coach for several years. Seth has decided to leave SMC and move with his wife to New Hampshire where they will be closer to family. Seth has done an amazing job over his many years here and he will be sorely missed - the Best of Luck to you Seth.

Lots and lots of contacts with former students as Jenny Pietroski was back in town from Maine this past week and I had the chance to have lunch with her and catch up on how she is doing. She graduated in 2010 and started graduate school in psychology in Colorado - great to catch up with her. Mary LeClair is back for a few days and her Dad, music professor Paul LeClair has just retired after a lifetime (Paul began here in 1970) of great service to the College and to all of our students - Paul is featured in the Spring/Summer 2011 Saint Michael's College Magazine. Mary and I will get together tomorrow. Barb Puls ('84), Meaghan Cormier('11), Eda LaPlaca ('11), Jason Fuchs ('10), Brett Peryer ('09), Seth Brown ('09), Craig Farnum ('99) have all been in touch lately - just one of the many, many things I love about being at SMC is the relationships that will last a lifetime.

Off to Indian Brook for some kayaking again - I continue with my writing and preparing for fall classes and enjoying life in the beautiful State of Vermont. Take care, and, as always, please keep the members of our military and all of our veterans and their families in your thoughts and prayers.