Relationships Built At Wilkes Define The Campus Community
Since becoming interim president in August, I have had the great privilege of celebrating members of the campus community whose contributions have helped shape the University.
As you read through this issue of Wilkes magazine, you will see that the campus recently remembered the lives of two University greats – Dr. Umid Nejib, founding dean of the school of science and engineering, and Dr. Francis J. Michelini, Wilkes College’s second president. With the naming of the Dr. Umid Nejib Flex Lab in the Mark Engineering Center in early October, Dr. Nejib’s legacy became part of the lexicon of the University. The dedication of the Nejib Flex Lab will remain a highlight of my time in the President’s Office, not only because Umid is so deserving of this honor, but also because it was a memorable occasion for my friend and former colleague, Barbara King, who was married to Umid.
Earlier this fall, the Wilkes community lost Dr. Francis Michelini, more commonly known as simply “Dr. Mike”. After his passing, a standing-room-only crowd gathered together in Weckesser Hall to celebrate Dr. Mike’s life and career. Through memories shared by Dr. Christopher Breiseth, Dr. Thomas Kelly ’69 and Lisa Michelini Spengler, Dr. Mike’s daughter, we were all reminded of his strength of character and his generosity of spirit.
Also during Homecoming weekend, we celebrated the contributions of Bob Bruggeworth ’83 with the official dedication of Bruggeworth Field at the Ralston Athletic Complex. The field is also the home to a new tradition for Wilkes Colonels – the ringing of a victory bell. When the victory bell rang – not once, but twice – on the day of the dedication, we all took great pride in both the successes of our student-athletes who competed on the field, and in Bob’s accomplishments, which made these improvements possible.
Now, with the publication of this edition of Wilkes, we recognize Dr. Wagiha Taylor and her remarkable 50-year career teaching students at Wilkes about the world of economics and business. As you read her feature, and the others in this issue, you will notice a common theme – relationships built at Wilkes have the power to enhance learning, both on campus and long after commencement.
By recognizing individuals like Umid Nejib, Francis Michelini, Bob Bruggeworth and Wagiha Taylor, we also celebrate their devotion to Wilkes. It is my hope that by doing so, we will inspire the students of Wilkes today to become the leaders and visionaries of tomorrow.
Paul S. Adams ’77