Dear faculty, staff, and students,
Happy Homecoming! I hope that many of you are planning to spend a chunk of your weekend on campus as we welcome back alumni from near and far. Starting on Friday with the Board of Visitors meeting, you should expect to see lots of friendly faces as alumni and friends make their way back to the Hill to attend meetings, participate in the Run for Grace and Andy (register at http://www.hiram.edu/run4graceandy), cheer on three of our Terrier teams, or celebrate a friend who is being inducted into the William H. Hollinger Athletics Hall of Fame.
Before the weekend festivities even get started, be sure to stop by the Kennedy Center today for the grand opening of the Cardinal Credit Union. Thanks to the hard work of Dean Liz Okuma and her staff, we now have a credit union right on campus – first floor of the KC – for all who want the convenience of campus-located banking. Be sure to stop between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to play games, maybe even win money, and learn about the credit union programs and services that will now be available to the Hiram community.
Speaking of the KC, I was proud to see and hear the interesting and informed speakers who engaged a packed house at Dix Dining Hall last night. Thanks to the hard work of faculty, staff, and donors who support the Garfield Center for Public Leadership, Hiram was able to host two renowned Middle East policy analysts from the Rand Corporation. Their remarks were insightful and stimulating, but as is often the case, the students who asked on-the-mark, probing questions made the evening. It was a special night, and one of many reminders that deep learning takes place in all kinds of nooks and crannies across this campus.
I guess the KC got more than its fair share of utilization this week since the building was also home to the Fall Open House event that the Admission Office coordinated on Saturday. Forty-five prospective students and their families spent their morning with many of us who staffed tables, offered workshops, led tours, and greeted guests. I could tell things were going well from the time I spent visiting the tables and mingling at the breakfast reception, but I knew our staff hit it out of the park when I received more than a couple emails from moms and dads telling me how great their day was. Granted, I know well that we have dedicated faculty, staff, and students. Still, it sure does feel good when others take the time to tell me. And they did! Thank you to all who made that day a big success.
Let me end on a more reflective note. I wrote earlier this week that Hiram lost another one of its gems with the passing of Professor Linda Rea. Calling hours will be held at Green Family Funeral Home in Mantua on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. If any of you need to leave work early in order to pay your respects and still meet you family obligations later that night, please feel free to do so. My sympathies go out to her many friends and family members.
Students, I know that you did not know the two beloved professors, Drs. Andrews and Rea, who have died over the last couple weeks. May I suggest that out of respect to these special faculty members that you help keep their spirit alive this Homecoming weekend by thanking a faculty or staff person who made a difference in your own life?
In that same vein, I thank all of you who continue the work you do everyday to keep our students sharp and our campus strong. Your commitment never ceases to amaze me.
Students, I wish you all a fun and safe Homecoming weekend. I hope that you join us as we root for the football, volleyball, and soccer Terrier teams throughout the weekend, and I am sure you will enjoy the iExperia music experience on Saturday night at 10 p.m.
Lori E. Varlotta