This week I got the kind of letter every chancellor dreams of receiving. It was from retired Air Force Brigadier General Steven Roser, who happened to be on the cruise ship from Australia to New Zealand with more than 300 of our Blugold Marching Band students this past January. Not only did the brigadier general compliment the students’ performance on board (he attended all six of their concerts!), but he made a point to tell me how professional our students were throughout the cruise. I have to share his words, because they made me so proud of our Blugolds. Brigadier General Roser wrote:
“Not only were they excellent musicians, but it was very refreshing to see so many young men and women behave as true professionals. They represented your university incredibly well! With crew members and passengers from over 50 countries on board, it made us proud that so many young Americans made such a positive impression on a global setting!”
It made me so proud too — in fact it brought tears to my eyes, knowing that not only did that trip make an impact on every student who was able to perform abroad, but it touched the people they met as well.
That feeling of pride stayed with me this week when I was at the Chippewa Valley Rally in Madison on Tuesday. Our delegation of business and civic leaders was joined by a large contingent of students — in fact we were able to place a student in most of the 30 small groups we divided into to meet individually with legislators across the state. Colleagues made sure to tell me that most legislators wanted to talk to our students first!
It was a good day in Madison, with community and business partners all advocating together for our Science and Health Sciences Building and for more flexibility to make the investments our university, Eau Claire and Barron County need. Our communities support us, and it felt good to walk the Capitol together. By the end of the day at least six different Eau Claire leaders made a point of coming up to me to tell me how impressed they were with the students who had joined us — their professionalism, their ability to advocate for UW-Eau Claire and their pride in our university.
I’m sharing these stories here because all need to know that it’s thanks in large part to our outstanding UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff and what they do every day in the classroom, on the playing field or in student support areas that makes our Blugolds the kind of women and men we can all be so proud of. Thank you.