Seasons Change – 4.21.23

Dear College of Science Faculty and Staff, Archer, our very senior dog can manage only a short evening walk now, but we always pass a tree that I’ve been rooting for, so to speak, almost all its life. It was planted around a decade ago and confronted by 80 inches of snow that first winter. The snow bent the trunk almost vertically downward, and I thought it would snap. But in spring, to my amazement, the trunk more or less straightened, and the tree made a few leaves. While the tree has remained small, the trunk is strong, pretty spring blossoms are open, little leaves starting, that in fall will turn a pleasant orange before the tree gears up for another winter. I give it a pat when we walk by.   The cycle of seasons is something you can lean on. Even in the face of the disastrous effects of human activities, the changing day length, the changes of plants and animals reliably mark where we are in space and time. The seasons are enough reason to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, deep aspects of our planet that nurture its health. Our academic calendar follows the seasons, and we are at the end of the ‘regular’ calendar with the last day of classes complete, and exams upon us. Thank you for providing our students with a top-quality Science education. We’re successfully recruiting students to our undergraduate, Masters, and PhD Programs, and thank you everyone who has contributed. We have offers accepted by ~17 new tenure track faculty, an unprecedented number, and thank you to the search committees and everyone else who has worked so hard on these hires. We’ve reached ~$50 million of new research funds awarded, and congratulations to everyone involved. And it’s Awards season! Faculty awards, Graduate Awards, Honors to undergraduates, and COS Awards to College faculty and staff, who we will celebrate next Thursday – please come along (see below)! Congratulations to every awardee. And congratulations and thank you, to everyone in the College, for a successful, productive year of working together as we read out the Good Power of Science. I wish Eid Mubarak to College members who will soon celebrate the culmination of the holy month of Ramadan.