Wrapping it up

Wrapping it up

Dec 21
Richard Vogen, Director, Planning and Research Development

While taking care of some of the annual ritual involving paper, scissors, ribbon, and tape, I paused to think about a few things pertaining to ACES this past year.

As a parent, my eldest daughter graduated from ACES in May 2012. One of the most exciting things you can experience as a parent is the opportunity to see your child walk across that commencement stage in Assembly Hall, and to receive acknowledgement for four years of hard work and achievement. Knowing that she earned her degree in a program renowned for its excellent teaching and results, in her case Hospitality Management in Food Science and Human Nutrition, certainly justified the investment of time, toil, and money. A highlight of the program was involving the whole family, those near and far, to celebrate her capstone learning experience in February, as her customers in her fine dining event, themed Arabian Nights! Mom even served as a guest chef!

As a teacher, I had the privilege of leading 24 incredible students in ACE/BADM 436, the International Business Immersion Program. With the fabulous support of Agricultural and Consumer Economics and Jessa Barnard, we learned in the classroom, wound our way through Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, and produced insightful documentation of critical issues facing segments of the food and agribusiness industries, here and in the European Union. The young men and women from ACES and Business who participated in the course demonstrated to me that some of the most accomplished professionals of the future will be from the University of Illinois.

As an alumnus, the orange and blue bled through on some memorable occasions. One of personal significance was the first reunion in over 36 years of guys from my housing unit, most of whom are also alumni of the former College of Agriculture, now ACES. While some of us have interacted over the years, it is amazing to pick up where you left off the day you left campus. Another notable occasion was the turnout on a warm, sunny September morning for this year’s Salute to Agriculture tailgate. Even with the aid of several department heads, we couldn’t make breakfast sandwiches fast enough for the happy throng of ACES supporters. The Illini even won the football game!

As a team member, I resolved last year to do my best as a college staff member, and yes, to offer my prayers for the University of Illinois. We all know that our beloved university has had its ups and downs. But who would have guessed a year ago, that our very own Dr. Robert Easter, former Dean, Head of Animal Sciences, and faculty member in ACES, would be the 19th President of the University of Illinois! Those who know Bob also know that he has brought a palpable sense of well-being to our institution.

And that’s a wrap on 2012.

ACES and Business students in the 2012 International Business Immersion Program at the IBIP symposium in Brussels, Belgium, sponsored by Baron Piet van Waeyenberge, an ACE alumnus, at the Flemish Business Club – De Warande.