Dear Honors Alumni Friends,
One of the great, great pleasures of doing the newsletter is the messages that it sparks in return. To borrow our newsletter title, with such messages the possibilities and the stories contained in them just keep coming. We got a message from Briana Salak (Arete, '01), for example, with news about a Shell fuel efficiency challenge that Clarkson should consider entering or one from Eric Cote (Computer Engineering, '04) about how Clarkson uses its network to save energy on computers and monitors. Of course, there are the many personal messages as well, some of which provide the material for our alumni notes. Of these, I will mention only one, the one from Kevin (Aeronautical Engineering, '03) and Karen Nagy (Mathematics, '03) Roberg with the picture of their sons Patrick and Martin with Santa Claus (see below). For those of you with children still to come, consider it a preview of moments in your future.
As always, it has been a busy, productive fall. It could be the year in which every Honors senior completes his/her thesis. Quite a milestone if it occurs; call it a tribute to Hayley Shen's achievements as Associate Director. And, as you will see in the stories below, we have adapted the Honors curriculum to the University's Common Experience curriculum--in your day what used to be called the Foundation curriculum--and are on to planning improvements and enhancements to our curriculum itself. Also, the 2005 and 2006 versions of HP200 made recommendations that are already becoming part of Clarkson's plans for the future. We are part of a program that is changing Clarkson.
It was a busy Christmas for me again as well, wonderfully so with my daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren, and mother with me for a week. As I wrote to a few close friends, for the first time I understood from the inside the metaphor of brimming with happiness--which always had seemed to me an overused, hackneyed metaphor. However, there were moments this holiday in which there was more happiness than I thought I could hold. A moment near the end of Christmas dinner when my two-year-old granddaughter tired of sitting started taking her shirt off, which prompted everyone's laughter, which inspired her further to a Christmas strip tease, and so on. Or moments during our nightly happy hour (wine for adults, soda for children) when everyone was together enjoying the moment (it helped that a video of Cars was on for the soda drinkers).
I look forward to the busyness of spring, although not to the task of replacing Hayley as associate director. She has done a great job for us, as Chris Robinson did before her. The ad for replacement is out, and, when I next update you, there will be a new associate director as well as much else to share. Until then, we hope to keep hearing from you, and that the possibilities and the stories just keep coming in.
Wishing you happy (and, of course, honorable) New Years,