Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

Director's Corner

DeniseSun? Is that you?

Do you ever have one of those months that feel like a roller coaster? Well, this has been one of those months. 

The weather alternates between sunshine, sideways rain, 60 mph wind gusts and freezing temperatures at night. Dressing in the morning is like playing the lottery: Will I be too hot? Will I get drenched? What if it’s cold in the morning and then warm in the afternoon? Crisis of all crises, what if I get called in to the president’s office for a meeting on the day I chose to wear galoshes and tights like a 4th grader because I have to walk across campus three times?

Ok, so maybe the weather isn’t exactly the biggest issue in the world, but it’s funny how it drives how we think, work and interact. It can make a problem seem more — or less — significant. And if the sun comes out just long enough and the temperature actually gets above 60 degrees, required tasks don’t seem so hard, colleagues seem a little more agreeable and problems are easily solved because really, everyone just wants to get outside and soak it up before it starts hailing.

We hear all the time that ‘change is the only constant’ and how we have to embrace it, take advantage of the opportunities it brings. This is often easier said than done, but it’s true and at this time of year it’s a good reminder. Hundreds of seniors are about to embark on the next phases of their lives, but first they have to weather the finals, the theses, the presentations and the celebrations. They have the difficult task of finding employment and saying good-bye to those who have become their family at Willamette over the last four years, often heading a direction that takes them away from all that is familiar and comfortable.

But they’ll do it and they’ll be great at it. That’s the beauty of the liberal arts degree. These students are ready to hold up their hand and assess the way the wind is blowing, pull on their galoshes, open their umbrellas and weather any storm. And if the sun comes out, even better. Either way, they’ll shine.

Denise Crawford Signature

Denise Callahan '95, MBA'00
Senior Director of Alumni Relations