Earlier this summer, the President’s Council, the volunteer board working on behalf of Plymouth State University advancement, presented the first R. Stephen Eastman Award to recent graduate Lindsay Harrington. The award recognized a student who, like Steve Eastman during the 1970s, was an extraordinary student leader, with intelligence and integrity and courage. She is a wonderful exemplar of PSU at its best: bright, engaged, and committed.
This past spring, Lindsay, a political science major with a minor in peace and justice, joined faculty member Filiz Otucu and seven other PSU students as representatives of the United States at the World Model United Nations Conference in Taiwan, discussing issues from global sanitation to terrorism and becoming informed future world leaders. She was part of PSU’s global initiatives.
Like many students dedicated to PSU, she has been active in student government, in her case serving as student speaker, the official voice of students on the University Leadership Team and in the Student Senate. She served with Student Senate colleagues on Joint Cabinet, a team of student and administrative leaders.
In her moving acceptance speech at the Eastman Award ceremony, Lindsay credited among others retiring Vice President for Student Affairs Dick Hage, who has created a model for student leadership that is admired and emulated around the country and that provides students with wonderful opportunities for learning. Year after year, PSU students attend national student leadership conferences and are surprised to discover the respect that students from other schools have for the responsibility given to students at PSU. For example, Lindsay has been an orientation leader and created a video for student orientations that introduces PSU to students as their new home and a place to respect and be respected, to flourish.
Even the Savage Welcome Center and Hanaway Rink shown in this issue are connected to Lindsay. During the last beam signing, a ceremony at which the wider PSU community honored the building’s construction, Lindsay spoke on behalf of students of their pride in PSU and the project.
The point is that Lindsay became engaged with her community, and that helped her to become, as her mother said, the person she was meant to be, the person she really always was. That is what PSU is about, for student after student.
As you read the stories in this issue of Plymouth Magazine, think of the individual human beings behind them who are, like Lindsay, active and engaged with making a difference here at Plymouth State, in the state and region, and around the globe. I hope you feel a genuine sense of pride in our students, staff, and alumni. PSU is an amazing place.