A Word From Human Resources
With more than 10,000 visitors on campus that day, it is no small feat to ensure that everything runs smoothly, so preparations begin months in advance by a planning group of about 20 people. However, the number of Rensselaer staff members who ultimately volunteer to support Commencement preparation and execution totals more than 500.
Often, many people whose departments are not involved directly will volunteer to assist on Commencement day. However, some departments have been volunteering for years in a number of roles including: serving as ambassadors to assist those who are not familiar with the campus; working as ushers to help to seat attendees at the ceremonies; acting as drivers for special guests to take they where they need to be on campus; and as dressers in the enrobing rooms to assist members of the President’s procession with their caps and gowns.
To ensure that the campus looks its best, grounds crews and landscapers usually start a month ahead of time by planting perennials and trimming trees and bushes. On the morning of the ceremony, the crew works quickly to place potted plants, grown in the Institute’s own greenhouse, to complete the beautification of the campus.
In addition, communications and university events staff, carpenters, custodians, plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, transporters, life safety and public safety employees, and others are all on deck on Commencement day, prepared to handle any last-minute issue that may arise. These dedicated and committed staff members are truly instrumental in ensuring that the day’s events occur without a hitch from initial set-up to clean-up efforts.
When you stop to consider all that goes into making the day a resounding success, and all the people whose skills and energy are harnessed to create the day’s activities, you realize Commencement is a truly collaborative effort.
It is wonderful to see the spirit of pride, ownership, accountability, and teamwork that takes place on campus. It is obvious that the entire Rensselaer community takes great pride in ensuring the continued success of Commencement day.
I want to take this time to applaud our faculty and staff for their role in supporting Commencement. Their generous efforts work to showcase the prominence of this amazing university on a day that is shared with our students, their families, guests, and the surrounding community. Most important, congratulations to members of the Class of 2012. I wish all of you the best in your future endeavors.
Curtis Powell, SPHR