Posts Tagged 'Teach for America'



Spring Commencement 2010 Memories

The weeks leading up to the University and College of Education commencement ceremonies were an absolute whirlwind.  I can’t ever remember a spring semester so utterly filled with things to do.  But now at long last the relentless grind is over, and the marathon of activity feels like a hazy blur that rightly came to a glorious and extremely satisfying conclusion.    

I’ll have wonderful memories of the two commencements, because they were special in so many respects.  For instance, what has been officially called a “Graduation Recognition Ceremony” for our academic unit has traditionally taken place the day before the University event.  However, this year marked, historically, our first full and formally labeled College of Education Commencement, and it occurred after the University celebration.  

It’s the People Who Matter Most

Most importantly, though, what makes any graduation special is the full range of people honored by the event

Of course, commencement belongs first and foremost to the graduates.   They’ve worked very hard to achieve the important life milestone of a either a Baccalaureate, Master’s or Doctoral degree.   I congratulate the more than 2000 Marquette students who earned their diplomas this spring.  

But commencement is also very much about the families and significant others who have contributed to the success of our graduates.   The accomplishment of a degree rarely occurs without substantial support from loved ones whose sacrifices made it possible.  I salute them as well. 

And I certainly want to pay tribute to our faculty, tireless student advocates who care deeply about providing their protégés with the utmost opportunity for professional, personal, ethical, and spiritual growth.

Finally, I’d be genuinely remiss if I did not applaud the efforts of our academic and professional administrators and staff in the College of Education.  Frankly, they make EVERYTHING else the rest of us do possible.  WIthout them, there would be no hope for efficiency and effectiveness.  Thank you — Tina, Carol, Susan, Coreen, Lori, Melissa, Pat, Becky,and Demetrice! 

Some Indelible Memories

Before I say goodbye to this semester, I want to highlight the memories of this commencement weekend that most stood out for me, so here goes:   Continue reading ‘Spring Commencement 2010 Memories’

The Devilish Tale of MU and Teach For America

littledevil_DarwinBell_flickrBy Bill Henk — My alleged descent into darkness began in May of 2008.   It was then that I first agreed to listen to the sinister idea that Marquette should partner with Teach For America (TFA), the highly publicized Peace Corps-like program where top college graduates sign on to teach for two years in urban schools.

A Snowball’s Chance in Hell

I agreed to meet about this ludicrous prospect largely as a courtesy, fully prepared to reject the idea like an invitation from Satan to be pals for all eternity.  No TFA representatives were there.  The orientation was done by foundation professionals who knew about the program and thought we ought to consider it.

What I had read about Teach For America and heard from fellow teacher educators left me skeptical, cold, and antagonistic.  To say that I had misgivings about the program would be a gigantic understatement.

Continue reading ‘The Devilish Tale of MU and Teach For America’


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