Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chancellor Koch kicks off fall semester with annual picnic

Students, faculty and staff got a chance to shake hands with the new leader of the University of Illinois Springfield during the annual Chancellor’s Picnic. The picnic was held on August 23, 2011 on the quad.

For Chancellor Susan J. Koch, it was the first time hosting the annual event. She served food, mingled with members of the UIS community and listened to ideas.

“I’m really delighted that that this is a tradition at UIS because the energy in this area right now is just spectacular,” said Koch. “I think it really reflects what the whole year will be like.”

The free hotdogs, brats, hamburgers, veggie burgers, watermelon, coleslaw and other sweet treats attract many to the event, but it’s also about conversation.

“I come out here to meet new people,” said Jackson Kern, a senior Business Administration major. “It’s the first week. It’s free food and you get to see all the old friends you haven’t seen all summer.”

The picnic helps add to the excitement of the beginning of a new semester, which for some, like freshmen Alex Fruth, can be a little scary.

“I’m a little excited, yet nervous at the same time,” said Fruth. “I’ve never really lived on my own and had the responsibility of doing work and stuff like that.”

For Chancellor Koch the picnic brings back memories and she hopes events, such as the picnic, live on the in the minds of students forever.

“As a child, my father was a faculty member. Many, many years ago there was a picnic at his school and I can remember as a 5-year-old sitting on the president’s lap,” said Koch.

Nearly 700 people showed up for the event. The celebration was part of Welcome Week 2011, which includes a variety of events designed to get students involved.

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