Good Morning, Knights! A Message from Provost Hannigan


Today’s message is from Mia Wicke,
Assistant to the VP for Enrollment & Student Advancement and Operations Manager

As a child of a soon to be 92-year old father and an 80-year-old mother, and with in-laws close to age 90, I often hear stories in between the servings of ziti and spumoni during our customary Italian Sunday family dinners.   Reminiscing words of hardship and struggles is always included in the dinner conversation.  The days of the depression, WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Wars and how those historic times shaped the lives of our patriarchs and matriarchs.  

As a Generation Xer, I often thought how life has been easy for me compared to our elders.   As I sat at Sunday dinner, straining to hear over the Frank Sinatra music in the background, I would listen intently to the stories of years ago and thought, are previous generations stronger because of the challenges and life experiences they faced?  We all have heard the stories whether it was from your parent, grandparent or great grandparent.  And I am sure you agree, the answer to my question is in fact yes. That generation is stronger.   Now, at this historic, challenging time in our world, I ask myself, will we be stronger now because of the Covid-19 crisis? 

As we have time to reflect, I suggest we will be stronger because of a renewed focus on priorities and as a nation, an even stronger commitment to innovation and research and the appreciation of the little things in life that make us smile.  I know I sure will.  If your mother calls to stop over for a coffee and you are busy, before the crisis I might say I am too busy.  Not now.  Months may go by and I may not talk to an old friend.  Not now.   Have you passed on a party invitation because you might have been too tired?   Not now.   If you have a chance to help a needy cause, I may have said, next time I will sign up, I am busy.  Not now.   Innovation, research, and entrepreneurial projects that may have been on hold, and done in the future. Not now.   You get my point. 

In every difficult time in life, we all must find some good to come out of our experience.  That’s life.   We love our Clarkson family, the work we do, and the lives we change.  I am personally very proud to be part of Clarkson and as an institution and as people, we will come out of this better, stronger and more innovative and more appreciative of everything, and the smallest of things life gives us. 

I ask you to reflect on this Monday, what are you going to do after we weather the mighty COVID-19 storm?  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big David Letterman fan so I thought I would bring the following to you in David Letterman Top Ten List Fashion.  

TOP TEN THINGS I CAN’T WAIT TO DO WHEN THE PANDEMIC IS OVER: (picture me throwing out the index card through a window)

10.  Go to the gym 

9.   Ditch the mask

8.  Go to TJMaxx

7.  Watch a real Saturday Night Live episode

6.  Give up my Amazon prime account

5.  Have my gray hair professionally colored

4.  Give my boss a high-five

3.  Go to Church

2.  Go to Ottawa

1.  Hug my parents

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