May 19, 2014
"Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
If you have this frightening feeling that the pace of life is accelerating at an increasing rate, then chances are you are in the midst of middle spring at RIT. Once spring break occurs, hold on to your handlebars - commencement is just around the corner but there are a gazillion events that occur before graduation.
These are happy events, however. The Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar recognition occurs in early April and not only do we get to applaud our accomplished undergraduates as they prepare for commencement, but we get to pay tribute to the teachers who have influenced their lives. If you've ever attended the dinner that follows the OUS event, you know how touching it is to see a student reunited with a former high school teacher who took them under their wing and encouraged them to excel.
The annual Puttin' on the RITz Dinner, hosted by the College of Applied Science and Technology, is another wonderfully unique RIT event. Throughout the academic year, students in Rick Lagiewski’s Ritz Event Planning course in the School of International Hospitality & Service Innovation work together to plan, develop, and arrange for a dinner extravaganza. But they do more - they create, cook, prepare and serve all the food and beverages. It is the total experiential learning event for these students.
Of course, Imagine RIT is now an institutional tradition that brings out the creativity and inventiveness of our students, staff, and faculty. By now, students plan with anticipation for showing off their innovations at this big event. More than 30,000 Rochestarians agree that this event really makes RIT shine.
And finally we have commencement weekend and all the ceremonies and receptions. Proud parents and relieved students invade the campus for the culminating event of the academic year. It is truly a happy time and special.
As we immerse ourselves in this busy time of the year, I encourage you to do two things: (i) take time to reflect on the joy of these events and (ii) thank a staff or faculty member for making them so special. Without the help of literally hundreds of volunteers, RIT could not pull off these events and make the students feel proud of their institution. Here's to all the volunteers! Thank you!