It is no secret that on all accounts the Nov. 1 Grand Opening of the Emeritus Center, 4:00 to 6:00 P.M., was an astounding success. I am grateful for the accounts, since I was unavoidably absent, and followed the program, while referencing the clock on the wall of my hospital room. That bare imagining has now been filled in by visitors after the fact.
3:00 P.M. Board members arrive to make final adjustments. I project a level of natural concern, augmented by the Board's having adapted, in the preceding several months, to an unprecedented number of program shifts in times and personnel, while planning the Opening. Overshadowing any other was the tragic death of the principal force behind the creation of the Center. A plaque on the wall expresses our appreciation:
In grateful memory of
Kermit L. Hall
Who instituted this
3:45 P.M. The P.C. screens glow with our first web page. So far only the Board.
3:47 P.M. Two emeriti enter. They are greeted with joyful enthusiasm. Total audience?
Not at all. The audience suddenly doubles. The trickle becomes a stream. The stream becomes a torrent.
4:15 P.M. By the time Officer in Charge Susan Herbst, and the other speakers, have made their way to the beribboned door of AUB134 the downstairs hall and atrium are packed.
4:20 P.M. By the time the movement to the fourth floor is complete, the house is filled to capacity. Every seat is taken. The standees line the walls, and stand in the entrance ways.
4:30-6:00 P.M. My informants tell me that everyone spoke beautifully and aptly: introductions, responses, and the Chekhov performance. I remember these snippets from the whole:
John J.O'Connor said that Albany's Center will keep the Chancellor's office focused on the importance of having one on every SUNY campus. John Marino said that the Center will encourage emeriti to "stay within the flow of work," and that "now having the Center we had better use it." Susan Herbst said that the president "would be very happy to see this all coming to fruition today." I add that President Hall had written in 2005 that "a Faculty Emeritus Center can give retiring colleagues the hope of staying in contact with their university while having a place to work."
And the Chekhov play held that the negatives of aging can be countered with creative spirit.
Thanks to all. Let no emeritus be left behind.
William Reed, Emeritus Center President
The Emeritus Center: a gathering place for UAlbany Retired Faculty and Professionals designed to facilitate and promote interdisciplinary scholarship.
Located in a multi-purpose space offering a meeting area, computers, messaging capability, faxing, scanning and making copies.
University Administration Bldg
1215 Western Ave.
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