Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Fall of 2012 in Retrospect

This has been a semester for the ages. From Welcome Week to Finals Week, Fall Festival, Debate 2012, Hurricane Sandy and everything in between, the fall of 2012 has been more demanding than any of us could have ever imagined.
Incoming First Year students gather near Memorial Hall during Orientation.
With summer came a new class of First Year students, all getting acquainted with Hofstra's campus, our staff and everything we have to offer them. As the semester approached, each member of the Class of 2016 prepared for their first class schedule at Hofstra. Little could they, or anyone else, have known how unique an experience Fall 2012 would become.

Hofstra students go wild as Big Sean enters the pit during his set at Vibe Live 2012.
At the end of September we got set for the annual Fall Festival, which meant families coming in from far and wide to visit their students and enjoy some meals together and on-campus entertainment. The Vibe Live concert, which included KC & the Sunshine Band, Cobra Starship, Big Sean (pictured right) and Snoop Dogg, drew a tremendous crowd. Students and guests were privy to some memorable performances and, to cap it off, a brilliant fireworks display at the night's close.

Former White House Adviser to the Obama Administration and
co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, Van Jones, delivers
the keynote address on the Day of Dialogue.

Following the festivities, the entire campus reveled in the fervor surrounding Hofstra's second presidential debate.  Over the course of the Debate 2012 programming schedule the campus greeted renowned speakers, scholars and political pundits on an almost daily basis leading up to the big event.  Speakers such as Van Jones (pictured left) gave impassioned insights on class, politics, education, the economy and a whole host of other hot-button issues bound to arise during election season.

Debate watchers look on as President Obama and Governor
Romney make their way to the stage.

The debate itself was a great success as news outlets from across the country set up shop on campus, flocked to the Debate Hall and visited several simulcast locations to get a feel for campus in the midst of this monumental occasion. Each of the nearly 400 Hofstra student volunteers played his or her part to make sure the day moved along without a hitch, and approximately 2000 students joined a Debate 2012 watch party and took part in the day's events planned by the Student Debate Committee. Their exuberance and hard work paid off in the end as President Obama and Governor Romney took the stage and engaged in several heated exchanges as the country prepared for an historic election.

Students and staff gather donations being delivered to a drop
site serving those affected in Long Beach.

Then, only two weeks later, the unthinkable happened: a category 1 hurricane grew along the Atlantic coast and combined with a nor'easter, the result of which left millions without power, thousands without shelter and too many mourning lost lives within the tri-state area. Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the nation and an required immediate response. Hofstra students and staff answered the call by providing shelter for students, staff and faculty affected by the storm. Through efforts such as Sandy's List, which provided shelter for some 70 students at its peak, and the University Supply Drive, Hofstra faculty, families, staff and students did their part to help those in need recover as best they could.

The Fall of 2012 had some great highs and some deep lows, but as always we managed to get through it.  We grew stronger and smarter for it; and as some had to say goodbye on December 20, so many are just now getting started. So, we hope you all enjoy your January break, and we look forward to everyone's return for a great spring semester.

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