I flew to New York City on Friday to celebrate the retirement of Jim Wall, our former Board Chair (4 years) and member of the Trustees of the College (12 years) . Jim is also married to my sister..... Jim's contributions to the Human Resource field has been amazing and he often attributes his success to the foundation he received right here at SMC as an undergraduate. His firm, Deloitte Touche, Tomatsu is the largest accounting field in the world and they honored Jim with a wonderful celebration of his 27 years with the firm. They also gave a gift to the College and specifically to SMC Fire and Rescue as Jim was a member of that group when he was an undergraduate and he has remained a loyal supporter of that organization here. Well done Jim..... There were 4 former CEOs who spoke but for me, the highlight was when his son Mike and his daughter Maggie took to the stage to "talk about their DAD."
In one of those small world stories, as I settled into my seat on the plane from Burlington to NYC the seat next to me was taken by Connor Stewart a Class of 2011 graduate. Connor is working in Burlington for Democracy for America and seems to be thriving. I knew Connor because he was actively involved in many, many students activities here, including the Student Association. He and one of his SMC roommates were heading to Chicago for a concert - it was great to catch up with him.
Classes ended on Friday and while many of us were shaking our heads about how fast this semester has gone, students were preparing for their finals which begin tomorrow. It has been a "different" semester with our new 4 x 4 curriculum but for the most part, students seem to have survived the changes. We held a "December Graduation" this morning as we always have a number of students who graduate now - it is always nice to meet families of students and to watch how proud they are of their "kids" at they finish up their undergraduate careers here. I just finished some grading and am now heading out to Grace Kelly's home for an afternoon with the Student Association's Executive Board - these students have worked so hard this semester, bringing their own strengths and personalities to the Student Association. The advisors have been invited to gather with them so I am looking forward to a good afternoon.
Take care, be well and, please keep all of the members of our military - our veterans and all of their families, especially at this time of year, in your thoughts and prayers. The Psychology Club just sent 150 Vermont Maple Syrup "nibs" and 250 Christmas cards to Jesse Holland who recently spent his "leave" from Afghanistan back here on campus talking with our current students - there are 150 men and women in Jesse's company stationed on the Pakistan and Afghanistan border and so the officers of the Psychology Club got in contact with Jesse once he returned to Afghanistan and asked what they wanted for Christmas and Jesse, being a true Vermonter, suggested Vermont Maple Syrup - good call my friend.