Message from Gage Paine

“It’s summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime” (The Jamies)

Gage Paine, Vice President for Student Affairs

Gage Paine, Vice President for Student Affairs

Songs are running through my head. Some are about summer and some just remind me of summer. I love all of the 60’s California beach music even though, or perhaps because, I lived in Oklahoma in the 60’s. The all time best summer song has to be “Summertime” from George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.” “Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” Just the melody speaks of hot, slow days and time to wander and daydream. It makes me think of those summers as a kid when it was just too hot to do anything and that was okay.

Of course, those days are long gone. Even so, the start of June marks a transition in our academic year. The past weeks of rain dampened, but didn’t stop our seniors from graduating in style and we send them off on their next adventures with good wishes. Many of our current students are traveling or serving as interns in far away places. Some have headed home to work and some are here for the summer.

As I once told someone who wondered what I could possibly find to do on campus during the summer, there are still 10,000 students here and some people think that’s a full campus. We know that our university never really shuts down for long. This week about 50 students and staff are participating in Sorority and Fraternity Life’s first ever LeaderShape® program. Orientation and Family Orientation student employees begin their training; those orientation programs start in less than a week. Leaders from many campus organizations will also be on campus as they wrap up one year and prepare for the next. So, summertime isn’t all that “easy.”

However, it is different. The pace of the campus is different. The number of cars and students is down. There are fewer events even with UT Orientation happening. There really is some time for most of us to take a bit of a breath. I encourage everyone to take that breath in your own way. Before you jump right into planning the next thing, please take a moment to celebrate the successes of this past academic year. Don’t forget all you have accomplished in the rush to keep moving. We’ve had a great year in the Division of Student Affairs and every member of this Division has had an important part in that success. So, take a moment and pat yourself on the back, pat your colleague on the back and take pride in what you have done.

After all, it’s only “sum-sum-summertime” for a few short months. Even if they are busy months, let’s take a moment to bask in the glow of our good work as well as the “Warmth of the Sun” (Beach Boys).

All the best,