Students returned and the new semester started last week. Navigating the snow. Diving into new classes. Playing broomball. And getting ready for Winter Carnival. We’re in full Husky mode.
Les Cook, vice president for student affairs and advancement, starts each term with an email to students. I thought you would enjoy getting a sense of life on campus through his eyes.
Happy New Year and welcome back. I hope you had a restful holiday break and were able to spend it surrounded by people and activities you enjoy.
I loved having my family all under the same roof for Christmas and enjoyed quality time with them as well as friends. Like some of you, I attended the Great Lakes Invitational Hockey tournament in Detroit and cheered on our Huskies for the last time at the Joe Louis Arena. I spent part of last week in Philadelphia with colleagues discussing the future of higher education and then traveled to NYC to meet with alumni of Tech. While a busy start to 2017, it’s been truly energizing.
As one year closes and another begins, I always try to take some time to reflect on the past year while thinking about the future. Each year my feelings about the importance of relationships increase and I am reminded how incredibly fortunate I feel to be surrounded by family, friends and good people, like you. I was also reminded by Tom Friedman in a recent New York Times opinion piece, that while machines and advances in technology can do many things they can’t and don’t have the heart that is so critical in building relationships.
There’s one other thing machines can’t do; build snow statues. As you know we are immersed in one of the greatest traditions ever, Winter Carnival. I don’t think there is anything that exemplifies the heart of Tech more than that of Carnival. From now through mid-February you will hear the sounds of Kenny Chesney and the Chainsmokers blaring from car stereos with doors propped wide open to the beeping sound of front-end loaders as they move mammoth piles of snow from one place to another. The laughter and cheering that accompanies the swish of brooms and frigid plastic hitting the ice. The smell of deep-fried Twinkies permeates the air, the energy of campus and sculptures of significance replace the piles of white stuff. It is these activities and others like them that not only build relationships but show the heart.
I also want to thank Nick, Allenca, Grayson, Cem and Ricardo for our adventurous travel to Houghton this week. While we may have been unsuccessful landing at CMX, the opportunity to share the trip, drive on sheer ice, and enjoy some Yooper Country music is something I won’t soon forget. I know many of you had similar travel adventures now or previously and I’d love to hear them. Who knows there may even be a #tenacity shirt for your story.
Two-thousand seventeen is fully upon us and how about all the snow? I can faintly hear the voice of Eric Church “we’re having a record year” and I’m not talking vinyl. You can proudly boast about surviving one of the snowiest Decembers in the history of the Copper Country with 120 inches. No big deal though as we are the snowiest campus in America!
While these are not the first records to be broken at Tech and they certainly won’t be the last, I do hope your 2017 is off to a great beginning. Be well, enjoy the winter wonderland in which we live and let’s make it a record year!
Vice President for Student Affairs and Advancement
Changes are also coming to TechAlum. In the coming weeks, you’ll see a revamped email and a new writer—Sarah Williams—joining the Advancement team. Sarah will be taking over editor duties and we’ll introduce her more fully next month. We’ll also be talking all things Winter Carnival in the January 31 edition.
Thank you for reading and have a great week!