Well, we are all here and what a calm and friendly beginning. Right now students are at the Renaissance Fair in Tuxedo, NY, others are rock climbing in New Paltz, and Billy Shovan, the weekend’s Administrator on Duty, just told me our rowing teams came in second and third. Amazing and wonderful fun for the rest of us.
The soccer teams and our cross country runners are evident every day, rain or shine, and our strong volleyball team has had one win and will have many more. Do these things matter during the academic day? Indeed, they infuse each day with pleasure as students tromp around campus to their courses and, most important, every player is better known for her and his involvement, known by a wider range of people than just good friends. The French word engagement describes full and good involvement in life. This is why the students who helped with a Special Olympics game, those cleaning the Hudson River (much to do after Hurricane Irene and following storms), those about to work for Habitat are more aware of what their impact can be this early before they have advanced degrees and professional responsibilities. Having an impact, in the arts, in athletic contests, in community service outreach, in “Green” agendas entitles each student to feel part of the larger world, certainly larger than a small, relatively safe group each day. Each stretch of limbs, of imagination, of effort, of involvement entitles one to stand taller and be ready for more challenges.
I am proud of our students and also proud of the involvement of our faculty who enable all this with generosity, good humor, and some wisdom. With them we learn well, do well, and have more fun.