Full transcript of campus media interview with President DeGioia

Last week, reporters from the Voice and the Hoya participated in University President John J. DeGioia‘s semesterly interview session with campus media organizations. While we’ve highlighted several of the important takeaways from the interview on both Vox and in our print edition, published yesterday, here we offer the complete transcript of the interview.

DeGioia: It was a great fall- I just think we had a terrific fall. For me, it was kind of driven by a couple of big things. We had to launch the public phase of the campaign. That was really quite an extraordinary weekend for us. It was us at our best and I was glad we were able to have such an inclusive experience with so many, including the tent on the front lawn. Our fundraising success has continued, we’re doing pretty well. We’re over the halfway mark in the campaign, at the halfway mark. We feel very encouraged by the generosity of our community. We’re just going to keep at it, our highest priority is scholarships, support for financial aid. Given the challenging nature of the economy I don’t think we could have a more important priority- that priority emerged over the course of roughly 8 years of planning going back to 2003, but certainly characterized all of the years of our quiet phase- that was our most dominant priority. We actually went out publicly with that priority in the quiet phase in a series of town halls across the country, where I talked about what we call the 1789 Scholarship Imperative, which is our way of characterizing the financial aid piece.

I think there were other issues that dominated my time in the fall- the relationship with the community and our engagement in the city were part of that. This is our cycle, to submit our campus plan and we completed our public hearing on November 17th. And we have our final filing of documents this Friday, and on February 9th we have a read-out from the Board of Zoning, where they think they’re going to come down in terms of the conditions for Georgetown, and we’ll expect some time later this spring, probably mid-April to maybe May, that will be our expectation that we’ll get a written report, and that will give us a sense of the position of the Board of Zoning. But I think as you know, this was a three-year effort, but also really it’s not a episodic experience, it really is a full immersion for ten years with deep engagement with the community and lots of conversations. It just becomes particularly focused in roughly the final two years of that ten-year period where you really deeply engage in the formal submission of documents to various city agencies and the like. So we went through that.

It was interesting for me this fall…I assumed the chairmanship of the consortium of Washington universities. And our mayor and our city council both raised issues of real importance for us as universities. I actually pulled together a meeting with the mayor which took place on December 19th, and it was a terrific meeting, I was very very pleased with the very good conversation we had with the Mayor about the role universities play in the city, we’re just very encouraged by his recognition of the importance that universities have for the life of the city. Per capita, this is America’s #1 college town. There are other cities that have more colleges and more college students but they also have bigger populations…We’re America’s College Town.

Then I guess we also had some local things that we’re dealing with. I was very pleased with the leadership of my colleagues, Chris Augostini and others- I know Todd, you’re going to be doing one this month, Hoya Roundtables, I think those have been terrific in terms of strengthening the communications between our students and our senior leadership. We’re also going through a very important process….We go through our formal accreditation of the main campus this spring, and it’s every ten years, you spend a good part of the ten years on it, but you really spend a lot in the last year. The chair of our visiting team was here in November, was here for a two-day visit, and the whole team will come in the first of April, and so we’re looking forward to that. I have some experience being in that role- I’ve chaired two accrediting teams in the last three years. I chaired the accreditation last year for Villanova University and the year before that Harvard University. So these are intense experiences, whether you’re on the visiting team or the university being visited. We’re ready and we’re looking forward to it.

Finally this weekend we’re excited about our Martin Luther King Day celebrations. And next week the whole MLK celebratory week, but Monday night is always a special night at the Kennedy Center. Each year we honor someone with the John Thompson Legacy of a Dream award and we also put together a choir, the “Let Freedom Ring” choir, with our choirs and also with choirs from the local churches, we call it the “Let Freedom Ring” Choir, and they’re ready to go. Usually we have a celebrity who joins them, and we have Bobby McFerrin. Mr. McFerrin was a visiting faculty member here, about ten years ago, and spent the fall with us, and it was fantastic. So I can only imagine what it’s going to be like with him on Monday night. But those were just a few reflections, let’s get started.

Hoya: My first question is about the Campus Plan… Is the University prepared to make any more concessions and are we prepared to have a lawsuit as there was in the 2000 Campus Plan?

DeGioia: Impossible to know regarding the latter, you really can only evaluate your circumstances when the formal documentation is given to you. We did have to enter into litigation because of concerns we found in 2000, in the plan we brought forward in 2000. We were vindicated in that decision, we were successful in that litigation. We don’t look to litigate however. We worked as collaboratively and as responsively as we possible could, and we will be submitting some final documents this Friday. What they reflect is further engagement and deep listening to concerns that were raised in the hearing on November 17th and subsequent conversations that we’ve had with the Office of Planning…and we will submit that on Friday, there are some additional things that we have indicated a willingness to commit to. We believe that the proposals that we’ve made are very reasonable, very responsible, very responsive. We’re hopeful that we will receive a positive response from the Board of Zoning.

Voice: While the biggest international story of the semester was the incident in China, we’ve also, this semester, expanded our relationship with Indian government and Indian institutions. I was wondering what you saw the future of that relationship as?

DeGioia: So, a little background context- in the fall of 2009, the leadership of India’s higher ed sector, the person responsible for that is one of their most senior ministers, Kapil Sibal, he came to the United States, met with us, spent half a day here, we had a full couple-hour workshop and then he gave a talk here. But he also visited a few other universities, my recollection is it included Yale and I think Harvard and Columbia…Part of the challenge for India is they simply don’t have enough higher education infrastructure. If you look at some of their recent reports, they may need as many as 600 new universities to meet the demand now to be able to accomplish what the Chinese have done in the last generation in this next generation in India which is essentially to double the level of college attendance. They have a very strong need for infrastructure, and they’re trying to encourage institutions who have a history of delivering higher education to consider coming in and doing some of that, helping the Indian government move forward in building that infrastructure. It will require legislation in India that they know they have to put in place, and they’ve taken steps in that regard, but they still have work to do. So that first visit was in 2009- last year in November, in 2010, I was invited to give the keynote address at the higher education summit of what’s referred to as FICI, which is the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India…While there we had an opportunity with a number of leaders across the higher education sector, just trying to understand the need, the opportunity, what might make sense for Georgetown. What we also learned is that there are eighteen Jesuit colleges, about 150 or so Jesuit high schools- all of them are among the best in the country [India]. And so for Georgetown and India right now, what we’re thinking of is how might we be able to cooperate or collaborate with one or two of those institutions, of the Jesuit colleges, to learn how to work in India and to see what it would be like to create opportunities for students and faculty in India.

To give you a sense, my first visit to China was in the fall of 05… We had 38 Georgetown students, undergraduates, studying abroad in China in 2005-06. This past year was 170. So there really was a need- we viewed our role to go in and help create infrastructure and relationships and a network of support that would enable us to expand work in China in ways that would be appropriate. India, we’re just getting started really. Our first step was, ‘oh let’s start working with these Jesuit institutions, and see what we can learn.’ So we’ve had number of visits, my colleagues in different groups have been going over, over this past year, just trying to explore potential opportunities.

In October, we hosted the US-India Higher Ed Summit, which came out of President Obama’s visit and Prime Minister Singh’s visit, they’ve had bi-laterals over the last two years, and one of the conclusions of those visits was, ‘let’s have an India-US higher ed summit’. When I was there (Delhi) last fall, and I heard that that was one of the definitive outcomes of the visit, I said to our ambassador there, and we came back and had meetings at the State Department, we’d be very happy to host that here at Georgetown because it gives our folks an opportunity to engage….A year ago, we did Brazil- we did the US-Brazil innovation summit, this year you’ll likely see us doing some things in Brazil, we’ve got some extraordinary opportunities that are presenting themselves also in Brazil. But I hope that gives you a little feel about India and where we are. What I think our first step in India really is going to be working with some Jesuit institutions and learn how to engage them.

One other important thing- Delhi, where we’ve been working most, New Delhi in particular, is about a three-hour plane flight from Doha. So we’re seeing a strong potential collaboration between our campus in Doha and the opportunities in India. And we’ll just see how those play out over time.

Hoya: How do you feel about campus safety and DPS performance for the past semester and are there any plans to increase both student safety and security?

DeGioia: Well, I think, and I’ll ask Todd to offer his perspective, but I would tell you that this gets a lot of our attention. And, as I think you may know, we are in the process of doing the search for the chief of police. Rocky DelMonaco, our Vice President for Public Safety, coming in 2001 we made a decision to make a senior position, you know Vice President for Public Safety, to which among other things, DPS would report. Over the last 18 months, we’ve asked Rocky to do both roles because he brings a great deal of experience. We wanted him hands on, trying to understand what would be the most, how best to strengthen our overall commitment to safety and security here in the community. He’s done a beautiful job of it, and I feel we are now ready to go out and do that search for the chief. We’ve expanded the reimbursable detail of MPD, the focus of that has been safety and security in the neighborhood, which is where we’ve been most concerned. What we always worry about is Thursday, Friday, Saturday night, just off Wisconsin and M, it can be a risk area. So we’ve tried to address that by partnering with MPD on those nights to make sure we strengthen the overall framework for safety and security there. I think it would be hard to say, hard to overstate, how much care and attention we give to these issues. Todd, maybe I’d ask you to complement anything or critique anything that I’ve said.

Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson: I would say, the key headline for me is seeing DPS continue to strengthen it’s efforts over the years I’ve been here, and over this last semester in particular I think seeing DPS officers on bike patrols around the edge of the campus during nighttime hours has been particularly useful. I think we have had a very clear discipline of meeting with those leaders who work with us on the reimbursable detail every week, making sure we’re all on the same page, talking specifically about incidents that happen, trends we see, etc. We’re strengthening that partnership with MPD and I also just think that the professionalism of DPS patrols continues to improve and I am pleased with what I have seen there. The other point I’d make, that President DeGioia made as well, is that this is work that will never be finished. We’re in a big city, we’re close to lots of extraneous factors, and in a busy neighborhood so it is something we’ll need to continue being vigilant about. It’s not something where we can reach a point where we can say “we’re all done with that”. But I think the directions we’re moving are very promising ones. I’d add also that the M street shuttle, which we added both because of some student interest and also because of some neighbor interest in us implementing that, has been very successful this fall and DPS has run those now three neighborhood shuttles very effectively. On an average weekend we give rides to, and I don’t have an exact number here, but I think it’s some weekends over a thousand students, and that’s very good news for safety as well.

DeGioia: I’d also just comment, that we’re very pleased about the quality of the working relationship with the Metropolitan Police Department. I think it’s been a very good dynamic, you know, at this time.

Voice: How close is the university to naming the successor to [Provost] Jim O’Donnell?

DeGioia: Ok, so the Provost search is what we would refer to in the world of universities as an academic search. And there’s a real kind of structure and protocol to academic searches. Not every search we do is “academic”. Deans and EDPs, Provosts, are typically academic searches. And what that entails is putting together a search committee; in this case, a search committee that is currently chaired…This one is chaired by Wayne Davis, the chairman of the philosophy department, and also the president of the Faculty Senate. We pull together a pretty representative group of representatives of the university community. All three campuses have a representative, and then the various schools and departments do. It’s about a fifteen-person committee. We also engage an executive consultant, a search consultant, executive search consultant, in this case a woman named Jean Dowdall, who has worked with us in searches in the past. And the committee begins its work. In fact, a little later this month we’ll have a town hall meeting open to the university community for discussion about the Provost search. Their job is to identify approximately three, not more than five, candidates to submit to me for consideration for the position of Provost. And then, it’s my decision, to work from that pool that they give to me. We charged the committee in the early part of the fall, and the expectation is they will submit their unranked candidates to me, the three candidates that they believe are all qualified to be in the role, to me generally mid to latter part of March. And then it’s my job to bring it to closure, and if all goes well I bring it to closure in April, and the person starts on July 1. And that’s the typical process, and we’re tracking that now. And that would have been the process we would have used a year ago for the deans in the Nursing and Health Studies and SFS-Q and in the business school. And all of those kind of followed that trajectory. And this year, that’s the only one we’re doing at that level. We don’t have another dean, or campus executive/vice-presidency. We have other searches, and there are other protocols we use with other searches, but this is a prescribed process with our policy of shared governance here at the university. The goal is to have somebody live on the ground for July 2012.

Hoya: Concerning the University’s major capital projects, in what stage are the plans for the IAC, and also any satellite campuses or extra land for the School of Continuing Studies?

DeGioia: To put both of those into context- we’ve been on a journey this past decade to address some very important issues. The first step, the prerequisite to doing anything was adding more residence halls out of the last campaign, the 1990 Campus Plan. So we got that done when we built the Southwest Quadrangle, that freed us up then to take on the next projects. The three most important were a new performing arts center, the Davis Performing Arts Center, a new home for the business school, which is the Rafik Hariri building and a new home for science, and we will finish that last piece this spring, early summer. We’ll be moving into the science building for fall 2012. The next project on our list was to expand McDonough, was to create an inter-collegiate athletic center because McDonough was built just about 60 years ago, when we were all-men, 3000 men in 8 sports, and now we have almost 7000 students, we have 29 sports, men and women. With our commitments to Title IX, we have very strong women’s programs. McDonough just can’t hold inter-collegiate athletics, so we need some expansion. We have a very good plan and basically we would build out on the tennis courts. We’ve gone through a couple of reviews with the Old Georgetown Board, which is the first step in the regulatory review process, and they’ve given us some feedback and we continue to revise our plans for the inter-collegiate athletic center. I reviewed the most recent plans just yesterday, and I think they’re terrific, and we’re going to bring those back to the Old Georgetown Board, and then that leads us then going ultimately to the Board of Zoning [Zoning Commission], the same board we go to with the campus plan. We’ve been before these bodies before with renditions and versions and footprints- this is the plan we want to build. The key issue for us with all of these projects was the financing and this will require philanthropy, we’re estimating a project cost in the roughly 50 to 60 million-dollar range. We gotta go raise that money, and that’s the challenge, one of our priorities for the [capital] campaign and we want to go and get that done…we’ll bring this formally forward for approval, but really the next step is fundraising. We raised the full cost for the business school building, the full cost for the performing arts center, and that’s never really happened before, so we’ve set a good precedent- we want to raise the full cost for the inter-collegiate athletic center.

We do have another immediate main campus project that we’re working on which is the New South space… We want to get the New South space done. We are raising money there, and that doesn’t require an Old Georgetown Board approval, it’s all interior renovation, so that’s just getting clear about the program that we want to have there. I’m also hopeful that we may get some support from the student endowment initiative, it’s their call but we’re trying to raise the funds for that project, roughly $11 million project.

Olson: It is total, 15.5 million now is what we’re looking at. I think what’s important is, it’s an important project, it’s not on the same scale as the new business school, new science, athletics. It is a smaller project, it can be pursued on a somewhat different track.

DeGioia: I will say it’s getting a lot of my attention, I think it’s really important to get it done…. The other thing is we’re also looking to create, our code name is “Georgetown Downtown,” which is to find a location in the city of Washington, likely near a Metro site, where we can do some continuing education that we do here on the Hilltop, and maybe some executive education of some of our other programs- Public Policy, Nursing and Health Studies, Business- not clear yet what we can do, but we’re currently working with real estate brokers, trying to determine what spaces would make the most sense for us, for a Georgetown downtown. We have the Capitol Hill location, we have the Georgetown location, we also have an outpost in Clarendon…but we’re now looking for something in downtown Washington particularly for the adult learner. We think that will address a number of the concerns that we worked with our community, our neighborhood community on, as it relates to the growth of Continuing Studies, which has been pretty exciting. I mean what we’ve been able to do there in terms of meeting needs. In addition to being America’s college town, this is the most educated populace per capita of any city in the country. Well they want continuing education, so we’re just trying to keep up with demand for us, for the kinds of programs that we deliver. We’ll likely make a decision this spring on a site for that.

Voice: We’ve also had the project of the Potomac boathouse. The NPS recently relaunched its study after years of limbo, are you optimistic about the new process?

DeGioia: I am completely optimistic about our ability to move forward in conjunction with the National Park Service in constructing a boathouse for Georgetown University on the Potomac River- completely optimistic. I’ve had a lot of experience working on this- I’ve worked with the Park Service now over many years, and they’ve indicated that they now want to issue some guidelines for non-motorized boat usage on the Potomac, and we’re looking forward to receiving those new guidelines, and working in coordination with them. We believe that they have consistently indicated to us their willingness to support our interest in having a boathouse on the Potomac, and we’re looking forward to this new framework in which to work with them in getting that boathouse built.

Hoya: Are there any updates on the hiring of more diverse faculty and more courses offered on underrepresented populations?

DeGioia: We had three working groups coming out of the initiative of 2009-10… Two of the three working groups did a vast bulk of their work by springtime 2010, and two of them in particular have been some extraordinary achievements. So for example, our working group on admissions, our numbers have never been stronger than they are right now. They have the deepest pool and the greatest yield on that pool. We’ve always been at the top of private colleges in the country in terms of our pool of diversity, we weren’t always as successful in our yield because we didn’t always have the financial resources to be able to compete with some of the schools that were offering more competitive financial aid packages. We’ve taken some steps through our fundraising and our 1789 Scholarship initiative, and the Georgetown Scholarship program to address that, and we’ve also put in place some pretty strong programs- we’ve had some for many years, the Community Scholars program has been in place for 40 years, but more recently we’ve added PEP, which is an immersion in the week prior to New Student Orientation for first-generation students, and then the Georgetown Scholarship program is including Cristo Rey students and others as part of the support network that we provide. So our numbers, we went from 110 to 150 over two years in terms of first-year students enrolling at Georgetown in the African-American community.

I also would say that Todd has done some excellent work in terms of addressing student life issues. Would you like to speak to that?

Olson: I think a couple of key points that came out of the student life working group were- number one, starting a program of diversity fellows- students who intern in different offices, in student affairs, campus ministry, institutional diversity and equity and other places, who’ve done some very good programming and engagement. we want to keep growing that program. Probably the biggest initiative that has really caught on is the ‘A Different Dialogue’ program, which we’ve run successfully, this will be the fourth semester of that program. Those have been very successful, well-subscribed, students very interested in that. And there have been some more subtle changes in the way we do student leader training and residence life staff work, etc. So those are some of them not so visible but really trying to be responsive to a lot of the listening we did to students and students were very engaged in that group.

DeGioia: The most challenging work is always curricular. That always takes more time. And our provost, Jim O’Donnell, working with his colleagues, has been responsible for trying to deepen the work of the main campus in terms of strengthening the diversity of the curriculum. We got an extraordinary gift from the chairman of our campaign, William Doyle, a member of our board of directors, class of ’72 grad, to create the Doyle Initiative on tolerance, and is really is an effort to strengthen overall our commitments to diversity. You work closely with the Doyle Initiative, would you like to just describe that?

Olson: I think this is a fairly new initiative, and Mr. Doyle first supported it at a more modest but still meaningful level and now has really amped it up, and what it really is all about is introducing, weaving these topics: diversity, inclusion, tolerance into a whole lot of classes and different disciplines. It’s about a cohort of faculty who has some shared experience and just really sharpen their skills, bring in some partners from across campus and it’s been a big success in its first few years with the faculty and with the students who are involved.

DeGioia: Would it be fair to say that we are modeling that a little bit on the success of the Engelhard Initiative?

Olson: We are.

DeGioia: I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Engelhard Initiative, but we’re really so excited, we’re going to celebrate that with an event sometime soon because I just want to thank everybody, I think it’s been an extraordinary initiative, and if you have questions about that, I don’t want to take your time now, you can ask about it, but Todd can certainly tell you more about the Engelhard Initiative. I guess I’d also say one other thing, I did authorize a new recruit outside of the normal routine hiring for an additional line in the African-American Studies program. We did that recruitment and that person joined us in the fall.

Voice: So going back abroad for now, in November a Georgetown student was arrested in Cairo while the protests were going on there, and you can speak to if you want the effect that that has on the Office of International Programs, but I was also curious if you think that involvement in political activities or political protests while abroad is an important part of the abroad experience, or not necessary and dangerous?

DeGioia: No it’s unnecessary, and it’s not permitted. There are very clear instructions for our students studying abroad as to what’s permissible behavior for guests in the country at the time….Our Office of International Programs performed in a heroic way during that weekend, because it was a very very tough period. That was roughly Thanksgiving period, and that was a very tough time. Kathy Bellows was extraordinary in her dedication and commitment to addressing the concerns of our student who was being detained in Cairo, and I think she did an extraordinary job. We’ve made a decision to allow students to go to Cairo this spring- we were in extended conversations with our colleagues in the American University in Cairo. We have the highest regard for their leadership- Lisa Anderson the President there is an exceptional leader. We were in regular contact with our embassy in Cairo in December, and also we followed the guidance of the State Department. We were in every case encouraged to consider sending our students to Cairo. We have three students scheduled to study at American University in Cairo this spring, and we’re going to permit that. 69 other American universities will be sending students to Cairo so we feel comfortable at this point having our students there. As you know last year we spent about 15, we made a decision at the end of January to bring them out, and we did. We feel the circumstances on the ground there would not warrant restraining our students from studying there this year.

Hoya: Where is the capital campaign heading next and what will follow the public launch?

DeGioia: So, where it’s headed—closure. We’re halfway there. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’re very busy, so we’re very excited about the momentum we’ve been able to achieve. We had an exceptional first six months of the year. All the numbers aren’t in, but it will be one of our best six months in our history.

The next step is a series of regional launch events. They’re smaller in scale and scope, but we’re going to go on the road and launch in about, I’ll say, 8 to 10 cities with regional efforts that will hopefully galvanize those regions. So we’ll be in New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, London. More than likely a city in Asia. I’m missing one in the U.S. Washington? We did Washington, that’s it. So there are probably 7 or 8 more cities. It will probably take us about 2 years to do them all. But we’ll be out on the road with these regional launches. And that’s really a way of bringing everybody together in a really coherent way. I went out and did all these cities once, two years ago, launching the 1789 Scholarship Imperative, the first pillar of the campaign. So I know these cities, they know me. And I’m in all of these cities regularly, so it’s just routine. We’ll go into these cities with organizing very special events and get a couple in the spring, a couple in the fall, and a couple in the next spring. We have roughly four-and-a-half years to go.

We have our John Carroll awards weekend this year in Chicago, and that we expect will be a very big event. A year from now, our John Carroll event will be in London. And it’ll be twenty years since the last time we were in London. We were in London in ’93. So I think it will be very exciting to first be in Chicago, then in London. You all don’t generally tend to cover that, only because it’s, like, the last week in April. And it’s the best time to be here, but we’re always somewhere else. But we did do it here a few years ago. Some of you participated in it.

Voice: So you’ve been President of Georgetown now, I think you’ve passed your 10-year mark.

DeGioia: I am, I’m in the middle of my eleventh year.

Voice: Exactly. I was hoping you could, reflecting on the last 10 years, what do you want for the future of both yourself personally and your administration to do better in terms of its relationship with the student body?

DeGioia: Well you know I come out of this place, I started as a student. So yes, I’m 11 years in this role but I’m now 37 years since I was in your place. I actually even wrote for the Hoya once when I was an undergrad, well more than once. . .I don’t know how many I got, I don’t know how many got published. I definitely made at least one in the paper. But I also served in Todd’s role for seven years . . . Todd is the best person we’ve ever had in this role, and I want to predicate anything that I say about it, is that I am grateful everyday that he is our Vice President for student life, but it’s a great job and I love that job. You are exceptional at it, but I loved it, and there you’re very immersed in student life. My jobs over the years have taken me in different kinds of directions and some had me more immersed in student life at certain times than others do. This one’s a hard one because I have a couple of days of travel almost every week for our fundraising, and also representing Georgetown on a lot of different contexts.

At different times of the year, the travel demands are very, very, very heavy. The fall is my favorite time of year because I genuinely need to be here more, I always try to teach in the fall (I do a first year seminar in the fall) so that requires that I be here every Monday. The work I try to keep so I’m here Tuesday, I’m often away Wednesdays and Thursdays, but in the fall I try not to do much international travel. From now until May it’s a lot of both domestic and international travel so it’s a little hard. But I sort of track how I’m doing, I keep very close records personally, just for myself: how many events am I getting to, how many student events am I getting to. And I’m sure it would surprise everybody the number because I go to see a play or I’ll go see a game or I’ll go see a concert, and those who know I’m there are those who are at the concert, the game or the play. I do quite a few lectures, so speeches for Georgetown, I do more than 200 a year for the University, and many of those are for the University community right here. The thing is, what I love most is the engagement here with this community, particularly the student community and so for me it’s what energizes me, what gives me joy, it’s why I do this work, but there are very competing demands on someone in this role and so it’s just trying to find the right balance. Making sure that I’m fulfilling my obligations in this role, and ensuring that I’m immersed in the life of the student community. For my family, my son’s now ten, so he’s more immersed now than when he was littler. He got to perform in Rangila this year so that was a highlight for our fall. I just hope that the way in which – I hope the demands and the responsibility of the presidency enable me to continue to deepen the engagement that I have with our community. Because it’s really – I’m from this community, I grew up in this community, I love this community, and I love engaging it and being engaged with it and it’s really just trying to find that balance.

Photo: Tim Markatos

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