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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Campus Seasonal Celebration

Category: Regional
December, 2019
ECAV Gym
Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Welcome, everyone — to the East Campus Athletic Village Gym, which our team transforms every year into a winter wonderland.

This year’s theme is “Frost and Flannel,” which really does capture December in Troy, New York — cold weather, warm gear, and warmhearted friends.

Please join me in thanking everyone who put this lovely party together: Karyl Contois of the Office of the President, whose imagination and planning never fail to generate a delightful event; the indispensable Mr. Kevin Krolik, who creates a magical atmosphere with lights and sound; as well as all the people in the Rensselaer Dining Services, who have prepared the delicious food; the ROTC students who helped with set-up and decorating yesterday; and the wonderful people in our Physical Plant and Environmental and Site Services, who make such a gathering possible. Please join me in recognizing them…

I also have to thank the Silver Arrow Band, for adding to our celebration.

I so much appreciate everyone taking the time to gather at what is, for many people in our community, the busiest time of year, with family obligations, end-of-semester obligations, present-buying, cooking, decorating, and of course, exam-taking.

We always schedule this party during Reading Days, when our students are working very hard to finish papers and projects and study for exams. It is, admittedly, a difficult moment to lure ambitious young people away from their laptops and books — but we do, indeed, believe in the value of brain food…and a bit of relief from the pressure. So I urge all of you to eat up, so that our students may return to the great questions posed by your professors with renewed vigor, and so that all of us can savor the delicious food, and a moment of getting together, as a community, in a festive setting.

Despite the demands of the season, it is wonderful to come together, to celebrate our community:

  • Our faculty, whose research advances biomedicine, materials science, the energy efficiency of every aspect of our civilization, the conservation of water resources, our understanding of everything from the conditions under which life began to the shape of our Milky Way galaxy — and other fields too numerous to mention;
  • Our students, who contribute to these efforts, and whose talents are equaled by their creativity and desire to change the world; and
  • Our staff, whose professionalism and resourcefulness make everything possible.

I thank all of you, for all you do for Rensselaer. It has been a great joy for me to belong to this community for the past two decades — a community rich in friendship, in imagination, and in goodwill.

I wish all of you the very happiest of holidays! I ask you, also, to send my best wishes to your families and friends. And I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.