As Convocation for the 2010-2011 school year at Castleton State College began, the Fine Arts Center was packed. Dave Wolk, the college president, even beckoned to students standing in the back.”There are plenty of seats up front, we’re not even looking at you,” Wolk said with a chuckle as students began to walk down the stairs and fill in the few empty seats that were left. It was the biggest convocation in the college’s history.
Last year the message at convocation was about savoring the moment. This year, however, the message was about securing our future.
“In the future, how can we ensure that we will always remain student centered, as the small college with a big heart?” Wolk said.
He then launched into telling the crowd about a few of the efforts that the college has made — and will be making — to do just that.
They ranged from financial decisions, like recent investments and projects that have transformed the college, to efforts to expand study abroad programs to increase the opportunities for students. He also talked about efforts made to diversify the student body.
One new initiative that was officially announced at Convocation was Project 2012.
“It’s not the most creative name in the world, but it does guarantee that, as we have with all our prior projects, we will finish the project in 2012, on time and on budget,” Wolk said.
This project includes a new 150 bed residence hall and an open air pavilion. The new residence hall will be constructed over the tennis courts behind Ellis Hall and the pavilion will be built where the Physical Plant building is now.
Several awards were also given out during convocation including: Employee of the Semester to Karen Sanborn of the Media Center, Commuter Student of the Semester to Brooke Surprenant, and Outstanding Castleton Alumni to Richard Richardson.
“It was exciting to hear about the new projects and see pictures,” Jaklyn Van Manen, CHANGE coordinator said after it ended.
“I thought it was really interesting. It was a really good way of coming together at the beginning of the year,” added freshman Savanna Cortvriend.
Wolk said he is optimistic about the coming year and is proud of what was accomplished in the past year.
“We are making history at Castleton every day. Let’s continue to make smart decisions and work together to improve Castleton,” Wolk said.