This week’s highlight was definitely a unique experience and one I will not forget any time soon!
HOMW 6: “MANY MOUNTAINS TO CLIMB”
Every other Wednesday from 3-5 PM in Bell Conference Center is the full body meeting of the Utica College Student Senate. I was given the opportunity to join Senate last year, and absolutely loved it! It is so interesting to see the backbone of our student organizations at work, and I really appreciate being able to represent students when decisions are being made. As a junior, I was a commuter representative, but this year, I am a North Hall representative. Usually, meetings are only attended by the students in Senate, plus any students who may be representing an organization requesting funds that week for an event. This week’s meeting was a bit different, because we had a special guest: UC President Todd Hutton!
President Hutton attended the meeting so that he could speak directly to us about his plans to retire. (For those of you who may not know, President Hutton announced his retirement earlier this week. To read WKTV’s report of his announcement, as well as President Hutton’s letter to the UC Community, you can click here.) President Hutton said that he had “many mountains to climb, both literally and figuratively,” as his retirement plans include hiking with his wife and spending time with his family. It meant a lot to me and the other students that President Hutton took the time to discuss his decision and the thought process behind it with us in person. He gave us the opportunity to ask questions or make comments, and many students shared stories of special memories they had with him throughout their years at UC. Others asked him to share some of his own favorite moments during his time here. I was honored to have had the opportunity to not only hear more about President Hutton’s decision from the man of the hour himself, but also to have been able to hear so many wonderful memories he and my fellow students shared from their Utica College experiences.
After the meeting, my friend Karita and I shared with President Hutton our gratitude for his service to the College, as well as a special memory of our own. Karita and I met when we worked together during the summer after our freshman year; we were both summer orientation mentors and spent two weeks living and breathing every minute together. During summer orientation, President Hutton makes a speech to incoming students and their families about being mindful of what they do with all of the opportunities available to them at Utica College. He says, “Look next to you: that could be a lifelong friend.” Karita and I have always treasured hearing that speech when we worked orientation after both our sophomore and junior years, because we felt that his words were especially true for us, since we became friends at orientation just as he described! It was great to share that with President Hutton, and he said he was really grateful to hear that his words had such a positive impact on us.
Then, of course, we took a picture with him.
President Hutton’s guest appearance at the Student Senate meeting this week was a really wonderful experience. As a graduating senior, I felt a connection to his words, as I too will have “many mountains to climb” in the future when my time at Utica College comes to a close. I am grateful to President Hutton for all of the positive impacts he has had on UC, and wish him all of the best in his future endeavors.