16 posts

On to a new Blue!

Those who follow me on Twitter and Facebook will know the news already: I have recently been selected as the inaugural dean of the Lewis Honors College at the University of Kentucky. I am very proud of all that we accomplished in the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State and our connections there are deep and strong. Izzy is now a sophomore and the Mack Fund will continue in perpetuity. This is a new challenge, […]

Making a Positive and Lasting Difference

Written for our Presidential Leadership Academy blog. Life should be about making a positive difference in the world around you. That is the vision of our college: To educate men and women who will have an important and ethical influence in the world, affecting academic, professional, civic, social, and business outcomes. It is important that we specify “positive” and “ethical” when we talk about someone’s impact on the world. In fact, when I first arrived […]

2011 Spring Medals Ceremony

Last weekend we conferred Scholars’ Medals on over 360 students who were graduating with Honors from Penn State and the Schreyer Honors College. I usually do not share my speech, but this time was special. I share it here along with my sincere congratulations to all our Scholar graduates. I could not be more proud. 2011 Spring Medals Ceremony Good afternoon Scholars, Parents, Trustees, President Spanier and Provost Erickson, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. Congratulations to […]

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year

But not necessarily a prosperous one. Not because I do not wish you all success, but because we need to remember that profit is not the goal in and of itself. Today’s epistle from the Book of Common Prayer’s Daily Office reminds us of this quite succinctly. James 4:13-17 — Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and […]

Bad lessons from good movies

Wired’s Geek Dad has a Top 10 list that I have often thought about, “Top 10 Bad Messages From Good Movies.” I actually don’t agree with everything on his list, but his #2 is one that I have often asserted, albeit from a slightly different angle. (His take is below.) I despise The Little Mermaid because it is fundamentally a story about a girl who throws a tantrum and does whatever she wants, jeopardizing the […]

The NCHC conference heats up!

This is more excitement than I really need. The situation is this, I was immersed in researching for my paper on Ezra-Nehemiah for SBL (ok, napping) when I heard all these firetrucks and sirens. Well, it is DC a big city with a lot going on in it. Then I realize I smell acrid smoke. I pay a little more attention. I look out the window. Sure enough! There are the firetrucks. Well, no alarms […]

On the road

I am in Washington DC for the next two and a bit days for the National Collegiate Honors Council conference. It is a surprisingly large conference and one of the best things that they do is bring in students who do presentations and poster sessions. (With scholarships being given for the best work.) DC is my home town, more or less. I grew up in Maryland, just down 270, and when you are from this […]

There is honor in AIG

All companies and entities have good and bad people and most folks are just doing their job. The AIG Executive Vice President in charge of the financial division that has received so much notoriety resigned this past week and sent his letter of recommendation to the NY Times. The honor that I see here is not so much that he resigned, but rather that DeSantis wanted to help correct the problems that others created. He […]

Mandatory Volunteer Corps to be created?

UPDATE: The Senate version of the bill is receiving far more attention. Senator Kennedy is making a trip back up for the debate. NPR had this story this morning, featuring one of the AmeriCorps projects (and a Cornellian). And the NYTimes has this story. (Keywords also make a big difference in searching. Yesterday I could not find this NYTimes story about the House version discussed below.) Isn’t that an oxymoron? “Mandatory volunteer”? I have no […]