Giving Thanks

Tomorrow is the nation’s official Thanksgiving, with all the trimmings of family reunions, tables laden with specialties of the day, and many a morning high school football game celebrating decades of rivalry.

I, like the Nichols students, faculty, and staff, look forward to gathering with loved ones and friends, relaxing, and—this time around—avoiding political discussions whenever possible.

At Nichols, our thankfulness at this time of year takes some additional forms.

On the lighter side, we appreciate that the re-construction of Center Road last November has given way to a smooth ride for everyone. It’s also a lot quieter out there! For months, it seemed that Nichols students were all taking an early morning music appreciation course–with the bass-like rumble of bulldozers roaming the half-mile stretch in front of the College; the rhythmic beeping of heavy equipment backing up; and the staccato percussion of creeping cars hitting potholes.

From the institutional standpoint, our ambitious capital drive is nearing its $45 million goal, thanks to large and more modest donations alike. The number of our endowed scholarships has proliferated. And we’re grateful that the new funding will help us become even more of the College we can be.

I’m also thankful for the continued rise I see in student leadership—in classes, on the field, and in the Nichols community and beyond. We’re committed to teaching that skill and encouraging that frame of mind from day one.

Early this month, we sent a thank you card in the form of a detailed brochure to our surrounding communities. The message inside spelled out the ways we’ve been happy to give back to our neighbors—from special scholarships for many commuting students; to the considerable economic impact we make every year; to the role student volunteers play in local organizations.

It’s great to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving.

A Happy Homecoming

Homecoming weekend at the beginning of October lived up to its promise as a perennially special occasion at Nichols. From the Alumni and Legacy Dinner to the Golden Bison Reception, Nichols grads made the most of their return to campus and brightened up the rainy and dreary weather outside.

2016 11 9 WhiteThere were plenty of moments that stood out for me, including several remarkable examples of multiple family ties to Nichols. John White ’71 and MBA ’78, who received the Legacy Award on Friday night, has three daughters who all attended Nichols, and who all married Bison! John’s daughter Shannon serves as a member of the Nichols Board of Advisors as does he. Mary Hoey, Parent ’15, ’16, and ’18, received an honorary alumna award.2016 11 9 Hoey

Then it was on to the Bison Den, where alumni—recent and from decades ago—joined current students and staff for a couple hours of music and fun. It was so well attended that we exceeded capacity, so folks could only enter as others exited!

2016 11 9Golden Bison

 

A highlight of homecoming for me is the Golden Bison Reception, where we honor graduates who are celebrating their 50th reunion. While many from the class of ’66 had stayed in touch over the years, several members had not seen classmates or been back to campus in 50 years.

Needless to say, they were amazed at how different the campus is today. Budleigh Hall is the only remaining residence hall from their time at Nichols. But is was clear that the Nichols campus from their days at the College lived on in their memories.