Dear staff and faculty of Ithaca College,
We may have had the perfect commencement weekend this year, or anyway within 15 degrees Fahrenheit of perfect.
As you may have witnessed or heard, our alumni commencement speaker Amy Kule '87 rocked Butterfield Stadium with her speech and with the balloons and pyrotechnics she brought with her. Our honorary degree recipient Dr. Bill Schwab was both moved and moving. The senior class president Jimmy Knowles had everyone laughing with his memories and musings from four years as a student here. I had the opportunity to bid a somewhat emotional farewell to the freshman class that arrived when I did.
Afterward at the fountains I posed for pictures and shook hands with several hundred graduates and their families. Every one of them was deeply grateful for the educational experience we provided. Parents told me that their questions over the years were helpfully answered by every office they called. They said they slept well at night because they knew their sons and daughters were in the most caring of hands. Students told me about staff who helped them through every problem imaginable, and about faculty who changed the course of their lives.
The gratitude was equally great for the commencement weekend itself. The beauty of the campus, a great commencement eve concert, the care put into the other programming, the clarity of the directions, the flawless logistical planning and execution of the commencement and associated events, the wonderful food served at so many locations and to groups of wildly varying sizes, the great turnout of staff and faculty on a Sunday morning to celebrate the achievements of our students ... our commitment to excellence was obvious in so many ways! I want you to know that the parents and our new alumni noticed and were grateful.
For me it was all epitomized by the person who stepped to the side of the stage and reached up to hold the Ithaca College flag upright on the platform because it kept blowing over in the wind. She stood there like that for over an hour. You know who you are. Your "let's do whatever it takes to make this perfect" attitude is a great example of what sets us apart.
The purpose of this message is to thank every one of you for making IC the special place it is. Compliments are often directed my way, but we all know they are really intended for you.
P.S. I thought I would share with you an email I received last week from the mother of two IC grads. It shows the difference we can all make together though our commitment to students.
Hi Tom, I am not sure if you remember me, however in May of 2010 my eldest daughter Alex Maroselli graduated from Ithaca. This Sunday my youngest daughter, Shelby Maroselli, will be graduating as well. As I reflect back on these significant achievements of my children, I also know that it was the caring, kind, and brilliant staff of Ithaca College that helped to make this happen. While my girls have received academically excellent educations, they have also learned much about making the world a better place. The staff of Ithaca has inspired them to be change agents of our world....because they were surrounded during their college education by these wonderful, caring, and positive adults. As much as I am excited for the next phase for my youngest (she will be attending the UB school of law in the fall because she wants to become a child advocate attorney)...I will miss their second family of Ithaca College. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Judi Swanson