To kick off the 2020-2021 academic year, College of Western Idaho (CWI) faculty, staff, leadership, and trustees gathered via Zoom, Wednesday, Aug. 19, for the annual College Address. Presented virtually for the first time in the College’s history, the address began with a message from CWI Board of Trustee Chairman, Skip Smyser.
“While it definitely looks a lot different to welcome all of you through Zoom this year,” Smyser said, “it is still exciting to gather and celebrate the launch of a new academic year. I say “new” and this year the word “new” definitely takes on a unique meaning – a new way of doing business, a new way of delivering instruction, a new way of working…. I wish you all the very best for a safe and mighty semester!”
Attendees were treated with a video reflecting on the past academic year – a year of firsts. From his backyard office in deep Meridian, sporting a suit coat and sandals, and joined by his furry co-worker, Lewis, Vice President of College Relations, Mark Browning, thanked faculty and staff for their tremendous energy and commitment to students.
“Wow! What a year it has been,” Provost Denise Aberle-Cannata said adding to Browning’s comments. “Instead of giving up, everyone at CWI rose up. I am amazed at the creative planning, teamwork, and sincere effort that was put forth by our faculty and staff to recognize and celebrate all of the accomplishments of Class of 2020. While our celebrations might not have looked normal, they were celebratory, and I still believe gave our students a sense of accomplishment marking very important milestones.”
“To look back and reflect on how our operation and all of our lives changed so quickly and so dramatically, quite honestly brings up some emotion,” said Glandon. “I’m a little speechless, but most of all I am proud.”
Following the video presentation, status of the College’s Brand Refresh project was discussed, a new Employee Wellness Challenge was introduced, and employee awards were announced including CWI’s Staff of the Year, awarded to Stacy Hardy, and Faculty of the Year, awarded to Dave Nicholas. Employees earning five- and 10-year service awards were also recognized.
The address concluded with a Q&A session with members of President’s Cabinet.
“No one really knows what might be next, but we do know this – things will change,” remarked President Glandon. “We need to stay nimble, and we need to stay focused on our students and each other. Support each other, support our students, and keep kindness in the forefront as we keep going. We will be mighty, we will be bold, we will be fearless... this will be our best hour!”
Watch the entire College Address.