President Michael Shonrock and various other speakers gave an hour-long address at Monday’s General Assembly, which was titled “Laying the Tracks.” Shonrock referred to Emporia State is the “educational engine that could.” This marks his first full year as president.
“As I think about this year, 2013 is a new beginning for Emporia State University,” Shonrock said. “All of us have those wonderful ideas for resolutions. I thought about my physical well-being and said I would eat healthier and exercise more. I drove by the work out place yesterday and felt good about it.”
A crowd of more than 450 students, faculty, staff and community members gathered in Webb Hall for the presentation. The program started with a sketch from the Educational Theatre Company entitled “Imagine: Now and Forever.” The comedic sketch gave a short history of the university while covering common student issues like navigating Blackboard and the lack of parking on campus.
Emporia Mayor Bobbi Mlynar also spoke for a short time, focusing on the relationship between the town and ESU.
“Emporia’s strengths and successes are tied so very closely to ESU’s strengths and successes,” Mlynar said. “It’s time for less talk and more action. We’d like to create a Black and Gold district for more businesses that address student needs.”
Brooke Schmidt, president of Associated Student Government, and Kevin Rabas, faculty president and co-director of creative writing, were also among the speakers to take the stage before Shonrock.
“We have created an agenda full of opportunities for students to speak their voice about our wonderful campus,” Schmidt said. “This is a very big semester for Emporia State, being our 150th (year), so I would like all of our faculty, staff and administration to be able to celebrate that with our campus and community.”
In Shonrock’s address, he referenced Von Ghega’s project of building a railroad through the Alps connecting Vienna Austria and Venice Italy before a train that could make the journey existed.
“This is our opportunity to literally plan for the future,” Shonrock said. “In my mind as I walk across campus, as I see all your smiling faces, I picture in my mind how things will be, where those opportunities will be, where those structures will be.”
Shonrock also referenced Peter B. Kyne’s book, “The Go-Getter,” saying ESU needs to strive for that impossible project to push us forward, which he renamed the “Gold Vase.” Those in attendance were sent home with a copy of the book, along with a 150th year commemorative pin.