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Reflections on the passing of another school year PR musings

Things are quiet now. I always find it—commencement, that is—somewhat of a mixed blessing.

The buildup to the end of each school year is always so frantic. You can’t help but look forward to a break in the action. But I miss the students and the energy and the chemistry they bring to our campus community. And I particularly miss those students—now graduates—with whom I’ve had the opportunity to establish relationships. So many of them head off to build bright futures, but there’s still that part of me that hates to see them go.

Commencement offers RIT terrific public relations potential. There’s always the opportunity for media coverage, but the greatest exposure comes through the thousands of visitors who witness the graduation of a family member or friend. The campus is always at its best—beautiful and buzzing with excitement.

Last Saturday, I enjoyed the opportunity to step back and take it all in. The pride of the graduates and their families is what strikes me the most. And they share that pride with a community of faculty and staff that works hard to make certain the RIT experience is relevant and rewarding in many ways.

Our visitors, I’m confident, leave campus to share their impressions of a university that truly cares about its students—right until the very end.

And until it all revs up again this fall, I’m going to try and enjoy a little quiet.

  1. Jared Lyon
    Jun 02

    "The campus is always at its best..."

    Ya know, every year right before graduatation, Facilities Management seeds the non-grass areas right beside the roads, and lays down those burlap sack things it keep the seed from blowing away and birds from eating the seed. I never understand why they don't do this earlier. All these people come for graduation and see the sacks all along the roadways.

    And then yesterday, they mowed the lawns andcut down the overgrowth (as seen on the area across the road from teh artifical turf field). Why didn't they do this last week?

    Every year I find it amusing that the campus looks more clean and trimmed up a week after graduation than it does just before and during graduation.

    Am I the only one who notices this?

  2. Silandara Bartl
    Jun 02

    I bet it looked great for the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge! ;)

    I noticed the burlap as I was driving in for commencement on Saturday, though, and wondered the same thing. So you're not alone, Jared.

  3. Mike Saffran
    Jun 03

    My guess is that reseeding and the general “sprucing up” of campus is largely weather-driven. This is Rochester, after all, and it can be challenging to accomplish much in the way of outdoor enhancements prior to May 1 (even then all bets are off—does anyone recall the May 1989 snowstorm?).

    Having said that, without question there’s a noticeable push by RIT’s Facilities Management Services to beautify the campus in the days leading up to commencement—and I believe Director Marty Becker and his grounds crews are to be commended for their great work year-round. Of course, not everything can be accomplished at once—so this week’s trimming of overgrowth across from the artificial turf field was likely the product of earlier priority setting.

    As for Paul’s comment about the campus being “at its best” during commencement weekend, I gather he was referring as much to graduates’ and their families’ exuberance as he was to campus grounds, and I couldn’t agree more. Commencement weekend truly shines as the favorite time of year for many in the RIT family.

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