Don't cry... just "smile because it happened"
I just left the UIS Student Affairs Leadership Reception, where some great UIS students were recognized for their achievements and leadership. This year's ceremony had a particularly diverse and international flavor -- signs that UIS is growing in ways that we dreamed of growing. It is deeply satisfying to watch this, but more gratifying to have watched some of these students develop and grow over the years, enriching their own lives and the rest of our lives, too. Each story that was told today helped me understand the UIS promise of "Leadership lived" more deeply: Stories of students like Paige Heiser and the Alternative Spring Break in the Everglades; Samia Ahmad and the Tie A Yellow Ribbon event to honor veterans; and the leadership of groups such as the Black Male Collegiate Society and Students Allied for a Greener Earth, and student leaders such as Ryan Bouray, Jaime Cruz, John Tienken and Jinger Sanders. Many others, too, whose names I assume will show up on Facebook soon. You all had an awesome year. You have my congratulations, my admiration, and my gratitude. Today's ceremony reminded me of writer Ann Voskamp's blog post three days ago, when she quoted Dr. Seuss: "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."