An amazing semester

And now the Friday of exam week. Commencement services are beginning. Final grades are getting entered. Students are leaving. Bells are ringing. Are you listening? Listening to the increasing quiet on campus and the growing craziness in Old Town?

An amazing semester, don’t you think?

Let’s talk money for just a second. CPD just received a $24,200 grant from the Pharos Fund. This money will support two GTAs in the program and a wide range of efforts across the community. We have raised additional money after the 10thAnniversary. Pretty cool, right? And in one form or another, we have raised $70,000 for the ACT Human Rights Film Festival. That is also amazing.

Our PhD was officially announced and we already have a number of applicants. Those of us at NCA had wonderful conversations with potential students at the graduate open house and at our reception. I expect those conversations will continue at WSCA.

Meanwhile graduate students and faculty presented dozens of papers over the course of the semester at a wide range of conferences. Our faculty have published books and essays in books and journals. Amazing, right?

I keep hearing wonderful things about all of your teaching. One student stopped by for the express purpose of telling me how much he appreciated the new Capstone classes and another wrote to me to tell me that we should tenure one of our new faculty members “if,” she went on to write, “you have anything to say about it.”

We had well over 3142 students in our classes and taught more than 9426 student credit hours. And that is just in our face to face classes! If you feel like you have been working hard, well that’s because you have!

Fifty-eight of our students intend to graduate Saturday night. Will all of them make it? Probably not, but intentions matter, right?

And we continue to gain accolades in widely varying places. Did you see Mark Saunders in Fort Collins Magazine? CSU’s TV Professor, they call him. They failed to mention he is also a hell of a runner and was once named one of CSU’s best dressed professors. Don’t let it go to your head, Mark!

And then this morning, Elizabeth stopped by with the September issue of the United Airlines magazine, Hemispheres from September. In an article on pro athletes finishing college, Crockett Gilmore—tight end for the Baltimore Ravens—credited our own Ann Gill for helping him finish his degree. “I’ll need a job no matter how long I play,” Crockett said. Indeed.

There is so much more I can report on, but I am going to draw this letter to a close. I am hearing of folks down the hallways suffering headaches from too much monitor-staring so I will end soon.

 

I am deeply proud of the work we have all done this semester. As scholars and teachers of communication, we stand in a long tradition as one of the bulwarks of a free and open society. Cicero, writing in De Oratore, links eloquence to freedom. “In every free nation,” he writes, “and most of all in communities that have attained the enjoyment of peace and tranquility, this one art has always flourished above the rest and ever reigned supreme.” Eloquence, Cicero argues, is the most difficult attainment and depends on deep and wide learning—exactly the learning we are offering our students and ourselves today.

May your holidays be eloquent!

Yours,
Greg