Happy windy Friday! I hope all of you are well.

Hey super short email today. I don’t know if I haven’t been paying attention or if fewer things have come across my desk, but not tons to report this week.

Elizabeth S tells me that the Better Together Day was a roaring success. A wonderful essay in the Collegian about the event on the plaza. More than 250 folks stopped by for conversation.

Just learned yesterday that our undergraduate committee earned a grant to build programming for first generation students in the department. Congrats Elizabeth W and team! Look for items from that programming to begin over the next months. This is a little piece of our larger commitment to make sure all of our students regardless of the background they bring with them to the department can be successful.

You know as well that this weekend is closing weekend for ACT. I have seen lots of you at one or more of the films. We have fostered so many wonderful conversations with so many people. Lindsey, in particular, has done remarkable work.

I want to tell just one story. On Sunday, several Congolese from Denver came up to see the film Mama Colonel. They were so excited to meet Colonel Munyole and she was having such great conversations with them that we extended her stay through the weekend. She was part of the post-screening conversation at the Lyric on Tuesday where Lindsey arranged for birthday cake. Now Colonel Munyole is in Denver interacting with members of the Congolese community. Without the festival and without our commitment to bring principles from around the world to campus, these powerful interactions would not happen. To be clear, though, making these additional arrangements demanded substantial time, effort, and money. That we expend those for our Colorado community is well-suited to our role as the state’s land grant university. Well done Lindsey and team.

Remember that we will be celebrating Gloria’s many contributions to the department and the university at Café Vino, Monday, April 16 from 3:30-6:00. We will have a couple of short epideictic speeches (AKA, toasts) around 4:35 or so.

That is the end of the Friday email!

I hope you all have wonderful weekends! For me, time at the festival but also time with friends and family. And, perhaps, a little quiet time to absorb the conversations, images, and experiences from the last few days.