Letter from the Chair (Spring 2018 Edition)

Spring brings graduation and that always spawns a fit of nostalgia for me.

I’m happy for those of you who worked, studied, shared and survived the last four years. I’m a little sad to see you leave. I’m happy to finish classes, but unhappy that I never quite feel I did enough, or did enough right. I think back fondly on other graduations and fresh faces; many that I now view as friends. I share your angst in what lies ahead, but I live as an optimist, so I’m going to expect things to turn out OK.

We said our goodbyes to Drs. Foster and Wigley in our last newsletter, but we still miss them. In this issue, we say a final goodbye to our friend and colleague, Dr. Barry Berlin. Barry was nothing if not a little quirky, but he admired his students and was steadfast in his support of his colleagues. I would not be here, if not for Barry, twice: once for hiring me and once, during a budget crisis, for refusing to allow my position (and me in it) to be cut. He believed in the press and integrity and fair-mindedness. He was a visionary, laying the groundwork for campus computer labs, championing the digital media arts program and imagining a journalism major. He was a patient and devoted husband. He loved chocolate in any form.

Part of his legacy is an endowed scholarship that Barry began, probably twenty years ago. And just a few weeks ago, many of you gave generously to our department on Giving Day. I want to thank you. Sincerely. And to let you know that we will use that money to support student travel to conferences, supplies to support some of our projects, student posters for conferences and Ignatian Day, and more. I also hope we can carve a few dollars out of that, to keep the endowed scholarship, that Barry Berlin began, vibrant for deserving students who are yet to join us.

We all are benefactors of his legacy, so I won’t be sad. Instead I invite you to celebrate his life with me. Share the optimism in our stories of successes and achievements you’ll find in this issue. Toast our newest Marilyn G.S. Watt award winner, Barbara Burns. And let me encourage you to nominate deserving alumni who were part of your life here at Canisius for next year’s award. We’re always happy to hear from you.

Enjoy your summer.

John Dahlberg, Ph.D.
May 9, 2018