A Fun Foosball Game

Yesterday I teamed up with Economics Professor, Hans Despain, to take on students in a healthy game of Foosball in the Fels Center. It was intended to be a challenge game with a certain unnamed rugby player who didn’t show. But we corralled some students willing to take us on! I don’t mean to brag (ha!), but we won two of three games. The first game was a blowout – we skunked them at 5-0!

So, the challenge is on—anyone interested in trying to take the crown from us?

Alumnus Jack MacPhail ’65

During the September 21 and 22 homecoming weekend, it was a pleasure for me to meet up with many of our alumni. A special highlight of the weekend was the Alumni Awards Ceremony on Friday evening.

During that event, one of the award recipients, alumnus John “Jack” D. MacPhail ’65 delivered a speech that eloquently captures what many alumni have told me about Nichols. Here is an excerpt from his talk.

As I look back at my time at Nichols and wondered why I travelled the distance to be here and will continue to come this distance, I realized this: Very simply, Nichols took me in, nourished me, grew me, sometimes coddled me, sometimes was much more aggressive with me and in the end, brought out my potential and made me feel very good about myself. So, I think that’s what makes this place so special.

I think of it very much as an incubator, a place where women and men of previously undiscovered talent come, are nourished and are launched out after that four-year cycle Susan talks about in her writings, to very simply flourish many times beyond where they ever thought they could get to. That’s the ultimate draw for me to this very special place on the Hill.

And so I’d close with this: Look around you, take a run up to Dresser Hill Road tomorrow and look back at this very special, beautiful place. In my opinion, much of the work has been done: The physical part is impressive; the faculty first rate; the administration equally first rate-all that work has been done.

Thank you Jack for sharing about Nichols’ memories so close your heart. Your words will ring true for years to come.

A favorite recent read is “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. The book discusses how hundreds of habits influence our daily lives, and how organizational habits or routines yield hundreds of “unwritten rules” that influence how companies operate.

Duhigg articulates a process on how to effectively change a habit, which involves: (1) understanding the “cue;” (2) identifying the “reward;” and (3) starting a new “routine.” This book is a must read if you personally have persistent bad habits you would like to break, even ones like weight loss that you have tried and failed at numerous times in the past. It also provides great insights into effective change management in organizations.

The book includes many examples of individuals and organizations that have seen dramatic results from changing habits. Duhigg states “If you believe you can change – if you make it a habit – the change becomes real. This is the real power of habit: the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be. Once that choice occurs – and becomes automatic – it’s not only real, it starts to seem inevitable…” (p. 273).

Thunder & Softball

Women’s Softball split their home opening doubleheader with Westfield State yesterday.

Thunder enjoyed watching the team and was impressed that the Women’s Lacrosse team was in the stands cheering on their classmates (and trying to remember which of the Correia twins was #9 versus #11).