People and Places

Trip to DC

Posted on May 7, 2009

As any “road warrior” will tell you, life on the road has its wonderful moments, but travel is far from glamorous anymore, especially after 9-11.  I write from the US Airways terminal at Washington’s National Airport.  Our flight home to NH has been delayed for a second time.  ETA back in Manchatten is now 1 AM if they manage to get us out of here without another delay.  Anyway, enough whining.

A day in DC never fails to inspire to me.  For all that doesn’t work in Washington, there is still the grandeur of the avenues and monuments, the statement of values carved into the pediments of public buildings, and the sense that within the walls of those buildings decisions that shape the future are being made.  I also like the young staffers we meet here — they still seem to possess their idealism and optimism (and yes, a few of them a bit of DC smugness).  I like to think that the people I meet when I’m here really are trying to do the best they can for the American people, even when I vehemently disagree with their analysis of what is needed. 

Don Brezinski and I had meetings with Congresswoman Shea-Porter and Senator Shaheen and their staffs, as well as with the Interim Undersecretary of Education.  All were very interested in our Three-Year Program and the SNHU Advantage Program.  Issues of cost and access are paramount in current debates over higher education and these program resonate.  We also updated them on our campus sustainability efforts, SCED, and various other initiatives. 

While here we also attended an event honoring our trustee Howard Brodsky, an inductee into the Cooperative Hall of Fame.  Hundreds of people working in cooperatives of all kinds gathered to honor the lifetime achievement of five honorees.  The event was held at the National Press Club, providing another one of those “aw shucks, look where we are” moments for me.

It was a good two days.  Now, if Useless Airways can get us home sometime tonight…..

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