Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wishing students a relaxing break

As we wind down the last few days of the semester this finals week,  I want to congratulate each of you for all your efforts this semester.  I was once a student like you (OK, it was a very long time ago) and I remember well the stress of finals week, with papers to complete and cramming for final exams.  Many of you have not only worked hard in your classes, but also been exceptional participants in various student activities and campus leaders who are leading student organizations and continually making contributions that make our campus a more engaging and intellectual environment for everyone.  Others of you are managing jobs and families at the same time you are pursuing your degrees with great determination.  Still others are studying hard and addressing each day the challenges that come with being an international student living in a new culture and communicating in a second or third language. Whatever your circumstances,  I admire your commitment and I hope your semester has been a successful one.  

For those who have holiday celebrations coming up in the next several days,  I wish you good times with family and friends.  My husband, Dennis and I are anticipating the arrival at our Springfield home of five little grandchildren – all of whom believe sincerely that Santa Claus is coming next week!  

Best wishes to all for a restful and relaxing winter break!  I look forward to your rejoining our academic community for the Spring, 2013 semester.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Remembering Sandy Hook

On this first day of finals week at UIS just a week before Christmas,   I hope that we all will send our best wishes to the residents of Newtown, Connecticut where the tragic school shooting occurred on Friday.  Our thoughts and prayers are especially with the families of the twenty children, six and seven years old, and six school staff whose lives were lost.  No words are adequate to express the magnitude of this terrible tragedy, but we are inspired by the heroism that saved the lives of many more children and we want the Sandy Hook Elementary School community to know that they are not alone in their sorrow.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bright Lights and Holiday Spirits

The colonnade on our UIS campus is  beautiful no matter the season, but if you haven't seen it after dark in the past few days, I recommend you stop by and take a look.  Thanks to our talented physical plant staff, it has been decorated with lighting for the upcoming winter holidays and it's gorgeous. With yesterday's record setting 74 degree temperature and the usual end-of-semester pressures, it's a little difficult to get into a holiday mood; but seeing the colonnade lit up so beautifully certainly does the trick for me!  I hope you will take a moment and enjoy the view!