State of the University & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
On September 28th, the President of Stony Brook University, Samuel L. Stanley Jr, gave his annual State of the University address and welcomed new faculty members to the university. Though I started in May, I'm still considered a new faculty member and therefore secured some primo-front row-reserved seating in the Staller Center. As it happens, the moment I sat down my name flashed across the screen (among other new members) and I was able to snap a shot commemorating my 15 seconds of SBU fame.
This being my first University Address, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Would half the room stand up to cheer after each statement from the President? Would millions be tuning in across Long Island (the event was being live-streamed, after all)? Well, there was a lot of clapping, that much is sure. As for the number of viewers tuning in, the university hasn't released any figures yet but I imagine it surpassed a dozen. There were even some elected officials in the audience, humbly smiling and raising a hand in acknowledgement as the President addressed each in turn.
After introductions, President Stanley got down to business, highlighting some of the university's recent accomplishments, commending our world class faculty and staff on their achievements, and reiterating the university's commitment to diversity and gender-inclusion.
It was great to see how much Stony Brook has grown since my days as an undergrad and I'm quite excited to see where the university will go in the coming years. This year's incoming class was the most competitive in SBU's history, with 35k applicants for only 2,900 spots--pretty awesome!
Anyway, post-University Address, Pres Stanley invited everyone to join him in the Melville Library (woo!) for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, celebrating the newly redesigned Reading Rooms (learn more about them here). This is what we (librarians) have all been waiting for, prepping round the clock to make sure everything is perfect and presentable.
The podium, ribbon, and stage were all set as hundreds of SBU staff and faculty filed into the library's galleria. There was even a string trio and sparkling cider with little raspberries in them!
After speeches by Constantia Constantinou (Dean of Libraries), President Stanley, and Cole Lee (Student Government President), everyone gathered in front of the podium for the official ribbon cutting! All of the librarians were invited to gather round the back for the photo op too, but I was a tad too short to make it into the eye level shot. If you look very closely you can see some red hair on the right side!
After the ribbon cutting, it was on to everyone's favorite part - the reception in the Central Reading Room! Librarians were assigned to strategic locations throughout both North and Central Reading rooms, on hand should any of our visitors have questions! We were all wearing our fabulous 'Ask Me!' library pins, so we were easy to spot!
Central Reading Room was decked out in food, drink, and beautiful digital displays, making it the perfect place to mingle and explore the new study areas.
After filling up on some delicious food, Claudia and I spotted someone taking selfies and decided to join in the fun. We even got a picture with the Pres (who is basically a celebrity!).
Overall, it was a great day and a successful unveiling of the new Reading Rooms!