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News from the Dean: May 2015

May 2015

During commencement on May 9, music education professor and Blue Band director Dick Bundy advised approximately 250 graduates to seize the opportunities that come their way, adapting his trademark phrase, “Carpe the heck out of the diem.”  He also spoke about the importance of kindness in our life journey, and how one simple act could make a world of difference. His remarks about the Butterfly Effect resonated with everyone in the audience, and will resonate with you as well. To illustrate the Butterfly Effect, he told the story of a man who gave $50 to two young girls in a restaurant and encouraged them to do something good with the unexpected gift. To learn what happened following his generous gesture, you can read his full commencement address here.

Dr. Bundy is known for practicing what he preaches, as evidenced by his distribution of envelopes with gifts to randomly selected graduates as they walked across the stage. The envelopes also contained a note urging them to practice the Butterfly Effect in their own lives. We look forward to hearing about our graduates’ accomplishments as they make their way in the world, using the skills and experiences they gained while at Penn State. 

The cycle of academic life at Penn State means we launch new graduates into the world each spring. Then, just a few days later, we welcome a new crop during New Student Orientation. Campus may not seem as hectic during the summer months, but many of our faculty and staff are busy with orientation activities and the University’s Spend a Summer Day program, an important recruitment effort.

If you are planning a visit to the University Park campus this summer, check out the Music at Penn’s Woods summer orchestra festival, the “Broadway on Allen” noontime series at the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, or the Nu.Musical Theatre Festival, held in the same location. In addition, the Palmer Museum of Art hosts a variety of workshops for both children and adults. A highlight of the Palmer’s summer schedule is an exhibition of studio glass from the collection of Audrey and Norbert Gaelen, including pieces by Dale Chihuly, Joey Kirkpatrick, and Toots Zynsky. That exhibition runs June 23–August 16. 

This summer, I encourage you to take the time to enjoy life’s journey and find a way to practice the Butterfly Effect. If your plans involve a visit to Penn State, I hope you will experience one of the many arts-related opportunities we have to offer. Keep in touch!

Barbara O. Korner