Homecoming a Time to Celebrate

The fall season is in full swing at Rio Grande; the leaves have changed, campus is abuzz with students moving quickly toward final exams, and Newt Oliver Arena has given way to the start of basketball season. On Nov. 15 and 16 Rio Grande will host the Bevo Francis Classic Tournament in conjunction with Homecoming Weekend. We are excited to welcome our alumni back for this annual weekend. Many events are planned and can be viewed on the Rio calendars at www.rio.edu. Spirit Week activities kick off our Homecoming celebration, which culminate on Friday, Nov. 15 with a parade through campus at 4:00 p.m. Bevo Francis will serve as the Parade Grande Marshall and many student organizations, employees and faculty will take part in the event. We are also pleased to announce the induction of four Rio Grande Alumni into our Athletic Hall of Fame: Steven Kehoe, Matt Powell, Jenny Olding and Bernard “Bernie” Bickerstaff. The 40th Annual Induction Ceremony will take place at 7:00 p.m. in the Market Place Cafeteria in the Davis University Center. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the alumni office at 740-245-7431 or alumni@rio.edu. This promises to be a wonderful weekend!

There are a lot of activities at the state and national level in which Rio is actively involved. Earlier this month, I chaired the American Council on Education (ACE) Commission on Life Long Learning meeting. Rio Grande is committed to affording a college education to learners of all ages. The work being done by the Commission helps keep us connected with leaders in the field of post-traditional learners. The needs of these students can vary greatly from that of a traditional college student, and we are positioning Rio to serve as a leading, best practice setting institution. I also attended my first meeting of the Association of Governing Boards Council of Presidents. The presidents on this group serve as a small “think tank” on issues of governance in higher education. Connecting Rio with other leaders at this level is important for our growth and longevity. It is a part of my responsibilities, as President, to which I am very committed. It’s also a lot of fun to teach everyone across the country how to say RYE-O the right way!

Leadership begins at early stages in our lives, and one of my goals is to help “pay it forward” by working directly with a group of current students. Our Student Senate members reached out to me over a year ago to help them develop some of their own leadership skills. Since then, we held regular sessions, which are akin to senior class seminars or capstone business courses. Our most recent meeting, which I hosted at the President’s Home, was focused on John Maxwell’s book How Successful People Lead. It was a wonderful time of discussion, and I think we all walked away having learned something about ourselves, leadership and moving Rio forward from several vantage points.

Please enjoy browsing this edition of Tower & Times. You will read a feature on two incredible alumni who found a unique way to give back to their alma mater. Also included are the latest campus life happenings, as well as RedStorm Athletic feats. As you welcome in the upcoming holiday season, remember all the precious memories as Rio alum, and be healthy and happy with your loved ones.

Warm Regards,
Barbara Gellman-Danley, Ph.D.