President's Theme Letter
July 31, 2008
Dear Campus Community,
Over the past years, our University theme has brought the campus community together at major activities and events. These events have resulted in dialogues both in and outside of our classrooms as well as allowed for all voices to be heard on significant issues: civility, social justice, civic engagement, cultural diversity and global challenges and personal responsibility. During the 2007-2008 academic year, the theme Global Challenges and Personal Responsibility: Environmental Sustainability was supported by an impressive array of events, including presentations by Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Ed Begley, Jr.; an annual Environmental Summit; an Environmental Teach-In; exhibits at the University Art Gallery focusing on sustainability; the University's participation in the national RecyleMania initiative; and through many activities organized by student organizations and academic departments.
This year the campus community will focus on Health and Wellness -- Challenges and Responsibilities. The University Theme Committee believes this focus demonstrates a commitment to our University's core values set forth in our strategic plan, Higher Values in Higher Education. We hope that faculty, staff and students will utilize the theme to impact campuswide programming. We will again coordinate efforts between our University Theme Committee, the First Year Experience (FYE) program and faculty, staff and students so that we can fully explore health and wellness on an individual basis and for the greater community.
The University Theme Speakers Lecture Series promotes education and exposure to ideas related to the theme. This year a few of the outstanding individuals who will be on campus include the author of the FYE summer reading "Smashed," Koren Zailckas; author and talk show host Dr. Drew Pinsky; Dr. Jean Kilbourne, who is internationally recognized for her work on alcohol and tobacco advertising and the image of women in advertising; Chef Kevin Roberts, also known as "The Food Dude;" and Zen Gray, personal trainer from the Bravo show Work Out.
Judith Dallinger, associate provost for undergraduate and graduate studies, will continue to work with the University Theme Committee in conjunction with our First Year Experience program to ensure the development of shared and diverse experiences for the entire campus community. I want to express my appreciation to the University Theme Committee, under the leadership of Ann Comerford, director of Student Activities, and Colin Harbke, professor of psychology, for their efforts to continue to expand our programming. I look forward to seeing many of you at these events throughout the next year.