Spring 2016 Re Cap It was with great joy and pride that we welcomed our 10th cohort of Legacy students in January. Over the course of the Spring semester the students have come together through their participation in the Bernstein retreat, biweeklies, experiential activities, and the speaker series. As in previous years, we kicked-off Legacy with our retreat at the Nathan Hale Inn. Students met their mentors and were introduced to some of the “mystery” surrounding Legacy. The retreat concluded with students receiving their Legacy fleece and being officially welcomed into the Legacy Family at that evening’s banquet. This semester we have delved into the topics of values, strengths, purpose, and the power of others. At our first biweekly the students identified their top five values and were encouraged to reflect on how their values are revealed in their day-to-day decision making. In the second biweekly, the students took the StrengthsQuest inventory which identified their top five strengths. After identifying their values and strengths the students were challenged to consider a deeper understanding of their purpose during the Legacy “why the why” activity. We wrapped up the semester with students reflecting on the perceptions their friends, family, and mentors have of them. In April, Legacy took a day trip into New York City to visit the Metropolitan Opera in partnership with the School of Fine Arts. While at the Met we saw a private rehearsal of Elektra in the morning followed by an in-depth tour of the Met. Did you know that the Met makes all of their
costumes, props, and wigs in house? After the tour the students had some free time to explore Central Park and then return for an evening performance of Madame Butterfly to close out an eventful day in the city.
One of our final experiences this spring was land navigation. Most of the students were novices at using a compass, but took to it after just a bit of practice. Out in the woods, some of the students met with more success than others, resulting in mixed feelings of pride, frustration, triumph, and failure.
Spring 2016 marked another great semester for the Legacy Speaker series. In February, Legacy was pleased to host a panel of esteemed experts and scholars who engaged in a thoughtful, complex, and nuanced conversation about guns in America and welcomed numerous audience questions on this hot topic. In April Legacy welcomed Dr. Naomi Baron, Executive Director for Teaching, Research and Learning at American University and author of Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World and Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World. She discussed how the human brain adapts (or doesn’t adapt) to the use of technology and the impact that technology has on our ability to comprehend and store information. Prior to her lecture, Legacy Students and Mentors had an opportunity to meet privately with Dr. Baron over dinner to learn more about her background and research. All in all, another great start to an exciting year of Legacy!
Reflections of An Alumni Mentor
Annette R. Lombardi (’76)
As each of my mentees and I continue on various paths through life, our legacy bond continues. I tell all of my new mentees each year that this is a very special program which will be very significant in their lives and that “our” Leadership Legacy Experience will be created throughout the year and beyond. I particularly like a quote by Pericles on “Legacy” …”What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” Leadership and legacy are the cornerstones of our Leadership Legacy Experience at UConn. I am honored to be an alumni mentor in this fabulous program.
As I was transitioning off the UConn Alumni Board of Directors in 2006, alumni mentor volunteers were being solicited for a new leadership program through Student Affairs, The Leadership Legacy Experience. At the time I knew it was a perfect fit for me to maintain my connection to the university and our UConn students. Now, ten years later, I can honestly say that this has been the most rewarding experience in my volunteer life. I have been an alumni mentor since the inception of this program, through the present, for 15 phenomenal UConn students and amazing individuals. I feel everyone is aware of the wonderful planned Leadership Legacy events, all of which provide an opportunity for mentors and “mentees” to share. Also, there are yearly reunions and events which bring former and current students and mentors together. Each year, my Legacy experience with my “mentees” is unique, challenging, exciting and special. I have broadened my horizons by participating in events which are an important part of their lives. Lifetime friendships have been formed.
Most important of all, thank you Jennifer, David, Juan, Rachel, Joe, Wen, Sarah D, Kelly, Shreena, Sagar, Yomarie, Nordia, Sarah L and now Alleya and Catilin, for sharing my Leadership Legacy Experience and for being woven into my life. To my special mentees as well as all cohort students, continue to grow and explore new opportunities, follow your heart, be leaders, change the world and create your own legacy! Congratulations Legacy on our 10th year anniversary!
Legacy Reads Summer 2016: The Road to Character One of the additions to Legacy over the years has been the Legacy Reads component. Started in 2012 and continued each summer since, Legacy invites its students and mentors to explore a new topic or issue involving life and leadership through a common book. Over the course of the years, we’ve learned about the K-12 education system with Paul Tough, changing generational demographics and values from the Pew Center, and the American Presidency and political leadership. The summer reading has often been followed by a visit to campus and lecture by the author, including an invitation-only dinner for the Legacy Family. Except for our very first Legacy Reads book. Back in 2012, we had the cohort read The Social Animal by David Brooks, a New York Times bestselling author and columnist, who frequents NPR and the PBS Newshour. We wanted so desperately to bring Brooks to campus, but we just couldn’t make it happen. For years afterwards, Joe and I obsessed a bit over David Brooks, sharing his weekly opinion columns with our graduate students, our colleagues, Legacy, really anyone who would read them. I started recording the PBS Newshour on Friday nights just to watch him speak on politics and society with Mark Shields (and perhaps because Friday nights around Storrs aren’t so exciting). I watched each of his TED Talks. Twice.
So when we heard that he had another book coming out, you could imagine how excited we were. We jumped on it, dived right in, and were inspired. At the core of the book is the struggle between “Adam I” (our external/resume self) and “Adam II” (our internal/eulogy self), and whether you should live for your resume or your eulogy. As is true for most of Legacy, the book leaves more questions than answers. The concept of character development is central to many of our discussions in Legacy: Purpose- ‘why the why’; Change, Failure, Humility, Values. These conversations have been touch points that we often come back to with all of you when we meet up at Happy Hours, Homecoming or via email. So this year, in 2016, the Legacy Reads book will be The Road to Character by David Brooks. We’re excited about kicking off a Year of Character in the Leadership Office and the journey of learning and self-discovery. We’re even more happy to announce that David Brooks will be speaking to the campus community (and you!) on September 13, 2016. If you’d like to save yourself a seat at the lecture or get a copy of the book, fill out our Legacy 10th Interest form here (http://leadershiplegacy.uconn.edu/legacy10-interest/). If you read the book this summer (and we highly encourage you to do so), shoot us an email or a phone call and let us know what you think. We’re always ready for conversations on character.
Upcoming Legacy 10th Events: July 28, 2016: Social Happy Hour in New Haven September 13, 2016: David Brooks Lecture October 22, 2016: Homecoming January 16, 2017: Legacy 10th Banquet *Check the Legacy 10th Anniversary tab on our website for more details!