When I was contacted about joining the Presidents Climate Commitment, I thought it was a great idea. For a number of years, we have offered a B.S. degree in Environmental Science and an M.S. degree in Environmental Policy and Management. Putting some of the theory that we teach into practice would be an interesting endeavor. I wasn’t sure that an online university would be able to generate the same impact on global warming that a land-based institution could, so I asked our Director of Facilities to review the Commitment document to determine if we would be able to comply with the guidelines.
Monday, May 26, is Memorial Day. The holiday originates with a day of recognition to honor the dead from the Civil War (or War Between the States) and was first observed on May 30, 1868 when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. By 1890, all northern states observed the holiday with the Southern states refusing to observe the holiday until after World War I when it was changed to honor the dead from all wars.
Many years ago, we were asked to host a graduation ceremony for a graduate. It’s my understanding that prior to that date, we mailed the diplomas to students. That first ceremony spawned an annual event where we invite all graduates who have earned their degree since the previous year’s graduation to travel to the Washington, DC area where we conduct a traditional graduation albeit for an online university.
This day represents a milestone as I write my first official post on this blog. I have weighed the merits and detriments of blogging for months. Our communications staff suggested the idea of having a President’s blog. The first source that I consulted was my class from the Harvard New Presidents seminar. Nearly half of my classmates responded and the majority weighed in against the blog.