2017 November Alumni Newsletter
October 13, 2017 has come and gone. This was the day of the Seaton and Regnier Hall Dedication event attended by over 600 alumni, friends and well-wishers, marking the ceremonial completion and occupation of our remodeled, enhanced and expanded facilities; programmed for APDesign to serve as the model 21st Century Land-Grant design and planning college.
It was a perfectly beautiful day, perhaps a bit on the warm side but clear and crisp, augmenting our spaces with penetrating light, contrasting shadows and gentle breezes of fresh Kansas air.
Most importantly, we gathered in a collective sense of pride. This was evident in the faces and on the tongues of everyone who coursed through our building and attendant spaces. Alumni and friends took stock in their contributions to building the reputation that served to substantiate our campaign for the new facilities. Donors, realizing they helped bring about this transformation, saw their names, or those they honored, writ across spaces used to prepare the next generation of design and planning leaders. Colleagues from across the university coursed through our spaces, sequences and amenities with the realization that this is not just a long-overdue project, but an exemplar for K-State moving forward. Many, reflecting their deep engagement and philanthropy, experienced all these feelings.
I experienced something different, rare.
I have long been fond of rituals, those solemn ceremonies consisting of prescribed actions arranged in particular order. Almost without exception rituals are related to passage of one form or state to another; profane to scared, war to peace, ‘uneducated’ to ‘degreed’, child to adult, single to espoused, life to death, etc. And in the case of our ceremony, celebrating the complete passage from the idea of, to the reality of, a new facility.
Having cut through the ceremonial ribbons alongside the many deserving dignitaries, I reentered Regnier Hall to experience an aura of place, a truly distinctive atmosphere from that I had felt over the countless times coming and going in and out of the building over the past few months.
I was beyond giddy, literally almost drunk with joy! It was, and is, an inexplicable feeling emanating from the spaces, the walls, the totality of the place. Is it merely the final sense of completion? Or is it deeper than that? The sense of accomplishment of our entire community radiating through the place? Our marvelous history and our potent future roiled into a collective spirit of appreciation and unlimited joy?
Mostly in jest, I have often said one of the greatest things about being your dean is that I get to take credit for the accomplishments of all the faculty, students, staff and alumni throughout the history of our programs. The reality is that I have always felt a deep responsibility of commitment to our community and to the history of the place. Be assured, it is a commonly held feeling among our college community.
I can add that I felt have experienced, and continue to today, an aura of completion, a goal attained, a superb facility, made possible and necessary through our history of accomplishment. I am extremely proud to be a part of our history.
Now we move forward.
All of us share the awesome responsibility to show that Design Matters, that a facility configured to the promise of our capacities undergirds a new standard of design and planning education in the 21st century. The history of our programs is not nearly so critical as the future. In this regard, we share a responsibility to support the programs, personnel and pupils that will define our excellence long after our hands are stirring the pot.
If you are not yet engaged, it is time.
If already engaged, let us continue to build on your example and commitment.
Your time, your expertise, and your continued philanthropy make a difference. If nothing else, we hope that everyone sees both the weight we feel by your commitment and our capacity to parlay your support in achieving great things for the college.