Since we really haven’t had much spring, it seems hard to believe, but another academic year concludes this week. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming Commencement ceremonies; we have record numbers of graduates participating with 967 students set to complete bachelor's degrees and another 262 students who are expected to complete master’s and advanced degrees. As I’m sure you’ve heard, for my first Commencement as president, I decided to shake things up and have one ceremony Friday evening and another Saturday morning. I’m only vaguely aware of the Facebook group “I’M BOSS,” but my people tell me I was quite popular on there when this decision was announced. All kidding aside, this is an enormously important day for our graduates and their families, and they deserve the best ceremony we can provide. That requires the presence of the faculty and staff who have meant so much to them. I hope to see you there.
There are a lot of you out there making us look good. I just want you to know I appreciate it. The latest example is Kay Castillo, assistant professor of medical laboratory science, who received the Donna Duberg Mentorship Award at the recent statewide conference for the profession. Kay does an excellent job with our students, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. Her nominators wrote: “She has developed the program as a well-respected, structured academic program that prepares students for the workplace.” At the same conference, three of our students presented a poster that won first place. These sorts of statewide honors are valuable evidence that our students are receiving a high quality education.