Celebrating Leaders Under 40

One of my favorite moments at the beginning of the fall term occurs off campus when I attend the annual 40 Under Forty awards presented by the Worcester Business Journal. This event recognizes the extraordinary careers of Worcester-area men and women who are still in their 30’s and younger.

This year—on September 14th—was no exception as a stream of young entrepreneurs, business executives, and organizational leaders crossed the stage to receive their certificates. The word “leader” has special resonance to us here at Nichols. From our required Lead 101 freshman course and Emerging Leaders program to our highly regarded Institute for Women’s Leadership and our tagline Learn. Lead. Succeed., learning leadership is front and center.

What also continues to strike me at the 40 Under Forty gathering is the number of talented individuals — whether they hail from Worcester or from as far away as Albania, Laos, and Ireland this year — who have decided that Worcester feels like home.

2016 9 21 Celebrating 40 Under 40AMany of our own graduates make successful careers and lives in the Worcester area, including one of this year’s honorees, 37-year-old Rob Cleary. Rob founded his own company ClearCom IT while he was still a senior at Nichols. In the almost 15 years since, he has grown his enterprise from one client with one computer to serving clients nationwide and managing 2,500 computers and mobile devices.

In coming years, you can expect to see more Nichols alumni crossing the stage at the 40 Under Forty celebration.

Class of 2020 Move In Day

2016 9 7moveinday1Move-In Day is my favorite day of the year. I join the hustle and bustle of the day as freshmen students arrive on campus with the excitement of beginning college and writing the next chapter of their lives. I met parents who were neatly making beds, a little sister holding back tears, grandmothers bursting with pride, and older or younger brothers and sisters helping with the move-in process.

There were also “movers and shakers” (upperclassmen) on hand to help move items from the car to the dorm room. Faculty and staff joined in to welcome the class of 2020 showing the remarkable sense of community spirit and pride that will be present for their four years at Nichols.

2016 9 7Moveinday2I realize this is a time of uncertainty. As you open this new chapter, look forward with excitement about what the next four years will be like. Realize you have a whole new network that will nurture you and help you forge new pathways. Make each second count here at Nichols – in the classroom and beyond. I hope you feel pride as you being your journey at Nichols. I know we are proud to call you a Nichols student.