In the summer months, many of our students and faculty members leave our campus to study, write, conduct research projects, vacation, work and rest. And even though these few months can seem rather quiet compared to the normal hustle and bustle of campus life, during this time we also have an enormous influx of visitors. And summer is a significant opportunity to introduce our guests to a wonderful Illinois experience.
In the last couple of weeks, we have had new student registration on our campus. During this time, our students register for their first fall classes and meet other students and faculty members. For some of these young men and women it might be their first time at Illinois. And for all of them, though some may have visited dozens of times, it is their first official introduction into the Illinois family. It’s a wonderful opportunity to show them how members of our family welcome them.
We also host thousands of students (nearly 6,000 last year) at our many summer camps. This year, Illinois offers nearly 70 different options. These camps are such strategic opportunities for outreach. I have heard numerous stories from people who said their decision to attend Illinois was a direct result of a camp. It is a natural way for the university to fulfill our mission of teaching the next generation. And it is a wonderful introduction to campus life. To learn more about all of our summer camps, visit the Public Engagement Portal.
Illinois also hosts numerous prospective students and their families during the high school summer break. These students might have had their hearts set on attending Illinois since childhood (perhaps even after attending a camp) or maybe Illinois is only one option of many. Whatever the situation, I hope that when you see a large mass of bewildered guests holding orange bags, you will offer to give directions or answer questions.
For those of us who will be here for the summer, I encourage you to take advantage of our beautiful campus during these months. With fewer crowds, it is a great time to have lunch on the Quad, visit the beautiful Allerton Park, take a run past the round barns, enjoy a favorite restaurant or buy produce at the student sustainable farm stand. And along with enjoying those times and places, please also be an Illinois ambassador to our guests this summer.
A Note on the Blog's Summer Schedule
During the summer months, I will be blogging every other week. I’ll resume blogging every week when classes resume for the fall semester in August.
Around the campus
Congratulations to mechanical science and engineering professor Naira Hovakimyan who has been chosen to receive the prestigious Humboldt Research Award (or Humboldt Prize) honoring a career of research achievements. Read the full story here.
Congratulations to Jesse Thompson Jr., assistant dean for academic programs in ACES, who has received the 2014 Ebony Excellence Award for Excellence in STEM Education. Read the full story here.
On June 6, Illinois held the Rededication Ceremony for the Alma Mater. The celebration included a talk by Dr. Jean Taft Douglas Bandley, a granddaughter of alumnus and iconic sculptor Lorado Taft. A "birthday" card was also signed for the Alma Mater, which turns 85 on June 11. The card will be on display in the Illini Union.