Welcome Week 2011
Students were greeted to campus Wednesday night, August 31st, with an Ice Cream Social that kicked-off the series of programs and events. At the social held outside on Kretzman Quad, students received their lime green Honors t-shirts, designed by senior Honors Student, Jessie Contour. While munching on a variety of ice cream treats, cotton candy, and slushies, students were able to meet their fellow first-years as well as upperclassmen.
The following day, Thursday Sept. 1st, students gathered in Matthews Arena to hear from panelists Prof. Kristen Madison of the Law School and Health Sciences in Bouvé, Prof. Lee Makowski of Engineering and Chemistry, and Prof. Elizabeth Maddock Dillon of English discuss their view of the 2011 First Pages book Better, by Atul Gawande. At the completion of the lecture, students congregated in small groups with discussion leaders to talk about the book and how its lessons can be meaningful for their first year.
Bright and early Friday morning, students ventured out to Ashland, MA for a daylong ropes course with upper-class mentors. Students engaged in a variety of challenges including tightrope walking through the treetops. Though the day began a bit chilly, the weather turned warm and sunny as the day went on, and students were able to spend quality time getting to know their classmates and making new friends along the way.
After a much needed day of rest on Saturday, students were officially brought into the Honors community on Sunday, September 4th with the Honors Induction Ceremony. Dressed in their finest, students were welcomed by the Director of the Honors Program Maureen Kelleher, and then listened to the inspiring words of student speakers Christopher LaColla and Katie Fluharty. Vice Provost Susan Powers-Lee, Vice President of Enrollment Jane Brown, and Associate Dean Robert Jose each addressed the students before they were called on stage to be formally inducted into the program through the Honors pinning ceremony.
Tuesday night, September 6th, students had the privilege hearing the author of their First Pages book speak about his experiences in Matthews Arena. Atul Gawande spoke to all first year students about using a critical lens to asses a variety of workplace issues including innovation, efficiency and safety. He encouraged students to become positive deviants by asking unscripted questions, not complaining, counting something, writing something and being open to change.
Rounding out Welcome Week, the first-year Honors students completed over 3,000 hours of community service through the Honors Outreach Project. As the final event in the series, Saturday, September 10th students gathered in Matthews Arena to hear Casey Corcoran, the Project Director for Start Strong Boston speak on the importance of community service. Following this, students traveled out into the local Boston community in small and large groups to complete hours of service. Projects included the Heart Walk, cleaning up local parks and schools, and letter writing to stationed troops abroad.