Out and About

By Christine A. Doyle, M.B.A.’04

Last fall, the University at Albany family gathered for a special weeklong celebration culminating in the Sept. 28 inauguration of Robert J. Jones, Ph.D., as the University’s 19th president. Here, UAlbany magazine commemorates highlights of Celebrate & Advance with a keepsake review of the events.

SEPT. 21

At 7 p.m., Great Danes fans converged on the newly opened multisport stadium at Bob Ford Field for the Hall of Fame game pitting UAlbany against Central Connecticut State University. Although CCSU edged the Danes 20-17, the home team and its followers enjoyed a spectacular post-game fireworks display presented by SEFCU.

Students at the SA Block Party event

Photo credit: Paul Miller

SEPT. 22

Dutch Commons was the setting for the Student Association Block Party. Faculty and staff also attended the event, which featured booths and activities sponsored by various student organizations.



SEPT. 23

Jones and the Tutu Sisters

Photo credit: Mark Schmidt

Fresh Perspective: A Dialogue With the Tutu Sisters reunited UAlbany’s new president with two children of his longtime mentor, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The event brought Nontombi Naomi Tutu, a race and gender activist, and Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe, an expert on HIV treatment and AIDS research, to Page Hall. Their conversation focused on peace, social justice and the legacy of their father, whose struggle against apartheid in their native South Africa earned him the Nobel Prize for Peace. University President Robert J. Jones hosted the program; School of Social Welfare Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson facilitated a question-and-answer session. The College of Computing and Information (CCI); Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy; and the schools of Criminal Justice, Public Health, and Social Welfare sponsored the evening.

SEPT. 24

UACCESS Presentations

Photo credit: Mark Schmidt

A two-day program introduced the University to UACCESS (UAlbany Collaboratively Creating Excellence, Scholarship and Success). Its aim, President Robert J. Jones noted, “is to make UAlbany the kind of University where all are respected, supported, and expected to be successful.” UACCESS will enable faculty and staff to discover ways to enhance student success and academic excellence “through the lenses of different groups.” Jones and President’s Council on Diversity co-chairs Tamra Minor, Ph.D., and Edelgard Wulfert, Ph.D., served as presenters for Our Call for Inclusive Excellence, the first session. The day concluded with Enacting Diverse Learning Environments: The Benefits and Challenges of Making Excellence Inclusive. Excellence We Can Measure began the second day’s program, which also included Diversity as an Imperative for Excellence and How We Know We Are Making Progress.

SEPT. 25

Carolee Carmello singing at UAlbany

Photo credit: Mark Schmidt

An Evening With Carolee Carmello played to a full house at UAlbany’s Performing Arts Center. Carmello, a three-time Tony nominee and star of Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, Mamma Mia! and a host of other Broadway shows, graduated from the University in 1983 with a bachelor’s in business and French. On Sept. 26, Carmello returned to the PAC to headline a master class for a select group of students.

President Jones’ commitment to public engagement provided the foundation for Advancing and Celebrating the Albany Promise Cradle-to-Career Partnership. The event also underscored the University’s dedication to the Albany Promise alliance, which links community partners in an effort to improve academic outcomes of students in the capital’s West Hill, Arbor Hill and South End neighborhoods.

Painted Great DanesGilbert King

SEPT. 26

The campus community came together for an afternoon recalling the Great Dane tradition. Held on the Academic Podium, We Are UAlbany: A Celebration of Spirit, Pride and Community included giveaways and a photo booth. Great Danes statues designed and decorated by individuals and by University organizations and departments were displayed near the Campus Center. UAlbany President Jones added his own artistry to a 19th statue, the “Community Dane,” which students, faculty and staff joined him in decorating with thumbprints.
Photo credit: Mark Schmidt.

New York State Writers Institute Visiting Author Gilbert King presented an informal seminar and a reading in the PAC Recital Hall. King, a Niskayuna native, won the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction for his work Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America, which was published in 2012.

SEPT. 27

David Axelrod, David Plouffe and Jon Favreau at the World Within Reach Speaker Series

Photo credit: Paul Miller

“Inside the Obama Campaign,” the latest entry in the World Within Reach Speakers Series, concluded the week’s offerings. David Axelrod, David Plouffe and Jon Favreau spoke at the event, which was held at SEFCU Arena and hosted by the Student Association, University Auxiliary Services and the Alumni Association.

SEPT. 28

Robert J. Jones, Ph.D., took center stage in the PAC’s Main Theatre at 10 a.m. for the inauguration ceremony installing him as the University at Albany’s 19th president. Members of the public were invited to attend the ceremony, which was followed by a reception. His goal, the new president stated, “is for UAlbany to become the university of choice for high-school juniors and seniors. And not just those thinking about SUNY, but also major research universities across the country and around the world.”

President Robert Jones and Chancellor Nancy Zimpher

Photo credit: Paul Miller

View a photo gallery of Celebrate & Advance events.