Off to a Good Start

7 Sep

I love the beginning of the Fall quarter.  The air starts to crisp.  The campus glows in the changing autumn light.  And I have the pleasure of welcoming new faculty and students to Ohio University.

Last week, I was able to welcome and greet new international students from dozens of countries at the International Student Orientation.   Krista McCalllum Beatty and her staff at the International Student and Faculty Services Office did a tremendous job presenting information, answering questions, and helping to ease the anxieties of newly arrived international students.  Peer advisors shared their experiences and provided new students with advice on how they could make friends with American students, keep up with classes, and find their way around campus.

And then it was on to the new faculty orientation where Tim Vickers and Marty Tuck organized a day of activities to welcome and acclimate our new faculty members from all campuses to Ohio University.  We gave each of these new faculty members a copy of Betty Hollow’s book, Ohio University 1804-2004: The Spirit of a Singular Place.

This invaluable book traces the history of the university and tells its compelling story through vivid text and visual narratives.  Since my arrival last year, it has helped me to understand the extraordinary, unique and singular place that is Ohio University.

At the orientation, President McDavis and I met faculty and conveyed our appreciation for the important work that they will be undertaking.  Their enthusiasm was contagious and I look forward to getting to know them over the course of the year.

The welcoming activities continued into the Labor Day weekend with the Patton College of Education and Human Services Convocation.  It was the first student convocation since the college acquired a new name and an expanded mission.  Dean Renee Middleton, faculty, and staff welcomed the newest members of their community.  Student leaders encouraged the freshmen to get involved, take advantage of the many opportunities that are available, and ask questions.  Judging from what I saw, the Patton students are off to a great start.

Freshmen Convocation topped off the Labor Day weekend events on the Athens campus. The incoming freshman class is eager and excited, and turned out in force for the Convocation.  It was great to be able to greet so many of the new students as they entered through the College Gate in what has become an important ritual marking the beginning of their lives at Ohio University.

As I surveyed the tables at the Student Involvement Fair, I had a déjà vu moment when one of our very helpful staff offered to help me determine or change my major (suggestions are welcome).

Each event I attended reminded me that we have in our students, faculty, and staff all of the elements needed for an exceptional year.

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2 Responses to “Off to a Good Start”

  1. Tracy Leinbaugh September 16, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    My new two new faculty members were very impressed with their orientation. They showed me all of their “gifts” and informational packets. They are thrilled and already feel part of the OU community. Thank you for doing that. It didn’t exist when I was hired and it was a steep learning curve!

  2. Marty Tuck September 16, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    Thank you for the comment Tracy. I always enjoy the New Faculty Welcome as it is the first opportunity I get to meet and interact with our new faculty. I’m glad your faculty found the orientation helpful and I hope they are “off to a good start”.

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