Convocation 2009

Convocation Address
Fred Kass
Staff Council Cochair
September 9, 2009

Good Morning. Hello President Creighton, faculty, and, of course, this great group of students.

When I became cochair of Staff Council I was both excited and nervous. Excited for the opportunity to be able to serve a larger role in helping this wonderful institution, and nervous, well, mostly about this speech. Like many of the nearly 900 staff members on this campus my role is one of making sure things work seamlessly behind the scenes, not in front of a large crowd.

I have worked for Mount Holyoke for 13 years, which by the way for the staff in the audience, is about when they stop calling you “the new guy.” To be honest, before I learned I was going to have to give this speech last year, I had not actually been to convocation. It was never my intention to miss this historic tradition, but I work in LITS, and I don’t know if you’ve been to the Information Commons in the first week of the semester, but it gets a bit busy…. Every year, I plan on going but get caught up trying to figure out why a student’s computer isn’t working correctly, and never seem to make it. I did not want to come to you today unprepared, however, so I went around the campus asking my friends and colleagues who have been here much longer then I have, what makes a good convocation speech? Unfortunately, they were not much help. They told me, Fred, I rarely make it either, I’m too busy printing One Cards or I’ve got to set up for the picnic lunch afterwards and never have the time.

But I kept searching and I found a few who either work this event behind the scenes at the amphitheater (hey guys!) or are hiding in the back there in the shade, and they gave me three pieces of sage advice. First, they wanted you to know that while Mount Holyoke staff rarely stand in front of the podium, we too are here to help you succeed. Being a part of this great community and being able to help such an amazing group of students is what drives us and makes us excited to come to work year after year. We are here for you. Secondly, they said make it short and to the point (I tried!). And lastly, they told me to say this:

On behalf of the Staff Council and the staff of Mount Holyoke College, I want to welcome to Mount Holyoke the class of 2013! And, of course, welcome back the class of 2012 … and 2011… and the graduating class of 2010!

Thank you.

Related Link:

Convocation 2010: MHC Red-y for Action