With clouds lingering above, the university formally dedicated the new Dandelion Square at its 151st convocation last Friday.
The ceremony, which kicks off the academic school year, was also a time to recognize faculty and departments for their contribution to undergraduate education.
UR President Thomas Jackson said in his opening remarks that the newly dedicated square would be ?a powerful tie for the lower quadrangle and the River Campus? as well as ?a moral compass with respect to outdoor space.
?Dandelion Square provides a pleasing, friendly environment to encourage a sense of community on campus,? he continued. ?It creates an attractive and functional gathering space that will be enjoyed by visitors as well as students, faculty and staff.?
Trustee Graham Smith, Class of 1953, whose family donated the funds to build Dandelion Square, addressed the crowd, saying, ?May you enjoy the use of Dandelion Square.?
The square is located between the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center, Wilson Commons and the Frederick Douglass Building.
Dean of The College William Green christened the square by presenting the Goergen Awards.
Sponsored by and named for Chairman of the Board of Trustees Robert Goergen, Class of 1960, and his wife, the awards are in their fourth year of existence.
Three faculty members received the Goergen Award for Distinguished Achievement and Artistry in Undergraduate Teaching.
Loisa Bennetto, assistant professor of clinical and social sciences in psychology, was honored for developing a new educational program on developmental disabilities by creating an internship program for undergraduates.
In his introduction, Green said students praised Bennetto for providing them guidance and inspiration. In her acceptance speech, Bennetto advised students, ?Don?t wait until you graduate to apply what you?ve learned.?
Kim Kowalke, professor of music at The College and professor of musicology at the Eastman School of Music, is a world-renowned expert on Kurt Weill, a famous modern composer.
Kowalke has ?made an intellectual lecture into an art form,? Green said.
The assembly also honored Joseph Eberly, the Andrew Carnegie Professor of Physics, for developing a physics course that has enabled students to learn aspects of modern quantum mechanics earlier in their academic career than at most other colleges.
Green said students, teaching assistants and parents praised Eberly for his clarity, humor and accessibility in his teaching.
The Goergen Award for Curricular Achievement in Undergraduate Education was shared by the Department of Anthropology and the Department of History.
The history department received praise for expanding research opportunities for students and redesigning the undergraduate teaching curriculum.
The anthropology department was commended for developing an extensive research-based curriculum for its majors in addition to enabling students to incorporate community service and fieldwork experiences locally and abroad.
The Goergen Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Learning was presented to Ronald Dow, dean of the River Campus libraries. Dow was recognized for his efforts in physically revamping Rush Rhees Library as well as for creating an environment that enhances the learning experience.
Green recalled a conversation he had with a student about the availablity of online reserve readings that students can print at their own convenience.
?Good old Dean Dow, always thinking of us,? Green recalled his student saying.
Ringing the bell
Junior and Students? Association President Meng Wang concluded the ceremony with remarks and a surprise delivery.
A box wrapped in cow-patterned paper had been delivered to Wang by the Azariah Boody Society before the start of festivities. Inside the box was the Anderson bell which had been traditionally rung by the SA President at convocation in years past.
The bell had been stolen by the society earlier in the week as a challenge to increase freshman class spirit and continue tradition.
At the conclusion of his remarks, Wang rang the bell and brought in the year.