There is no more benign atmosphere than a college or university campus on the days surrounding commencement. The season is right and the air is suffused with achievement, satisfaction, relief, gratitude, and justified pride. I was pleased to participate in the UW Information School convocation last friday evening, and all of these elements were present in abundance. The pride of the entire community is contagious and moving. This school has grown to a position of national leadership in less than a decade under the vigorous leadership of Mike Eisenbeg. Mike makes you tired just talking to him, and a decade of that energy has blossomed into a PhD program, an MLIS program, a Master of Science in Information Management, and an undergraduate Informatics progam. The faculty is diverse and accomplished, a mixture of deep experience and ambitious, yourthful energy.
On my recent trip home, I snagged my dusty-from-disuse academic regalia and brought it to Seattle so I could run with the peacocks. Dress up is fun! It was also inspiring to march into a well-lit auditorium and feel the excitement of students, their families, faculty and staff. I think what struck me most was the obvious affection of the student cohorts for their respective faculties, something I observed a week prior to this convocation at a presentation of capstone projects by the MSIM graduating class. Mike Crandall's position with this group is something we in the midwest generally reserve for football coaches.
Half-way through my sabbatical, I can report that my most valuable moments have been spent with the graduate students. Michael, Geoff, Jason, Carolyn, Rachel, and all the rest whose names I know less well... Congratulations to you all, best wishes for your future, and thank you from a grateful visitor.
Image: Stuart Sutton, who is recovering from knee surgery. I didn't ask Stuart if I could publish his picture (I hope he doesn't object). I am given to understand that one may not publish a picture of a recognizable individual without their permission unless it is an image containing editorial content. When I allowed as how Stuart might have been forgiven passing up the opportunity for spending several hours on crutches in less-than-ideal circumstances, his reply was "This is important." I think I met the editorial content criterion.
More photos in the photo album to the left