The arts, Watson noted, make a "critically important contribution" to the
cultural life of this community and the state, bringing "many community
members to our campus for outstanding performances and exhibitions."
Watson highlighted events like the Saturday Symposium series, the history department's Emancipation Semester programming, and the "Earth Perfect?" conference this past June for bringing UD alumni back to campus and leveraging new partnerships with cultural institutions in the area.
The School of Public Policy and Administration's pilot project to
catalog its community engagement activities has helped "develop UD's
confidence" to pursue Carnegie Engaged University status this year, he
He also cited associate professor Yassar Payne's participatory action
research project in Eastside and Southbridge, which "not only engages
community members in research but opens them up to career and education
"Many members of CAS make such a Delaware Difference, said Watson, adding, "Our work in these arenas is important and valued."
Watson's address was preceded by remarks from Grasso, whose long tenure at Smith College, renowned for its liberal
arts education, made him feel "at home" in the "oldest and largest of
UD's seven colleges."
"In a world that's changing as rapidly as ours, we have an obligation
to ensure that our students can think broadly across disciplines and
consider the human dimensions at the heart of the grand challenges of
our day," said Grasso. "That is the hallmark of a liberal arts
education," he said, adding, "And it's the very foundation every UD
The annual State of the College event concluded with Watson
introducing the 10 new members of the college faculty, two post-doctoral
fellows in the Center for the Study of Diversity, six preceptors for
the ISE Lab and new staff hires and interim appointments in the