Part of student Orientation at Webster University is a dean’s introduction. We have an hour allotted. My dean introduces each of his four department chairs to the gathered students and parents.
I was the last introductee this year. When Peter introduced me, members of the audience cheered.
I’m continuing to ponder those cheers this weekend. Why did I get cheers, and not others? The answer must be a couple of simple facts: I met personally with most of the new students, sharing coffee or meals with some of them; and I was the only department chair in the arts who advised new students during summer advising. This creates a bond, and a comfort. Music students come into school knowing the chair of the department already. Other arts students don’t.
That cheering was certainly gratifying . . . .!