Bennett to hold last ‘Breakfast with the President’

Riley Guerzini, News Editor

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Luke Williams, a senior biology major, asks Linda Bennett about her take on advertisement on campus at the annual breakfast March 27, in Carter Hall.

Linda Bennett will return to Carter Hall March 21 for her final Breakfast with the President.

This will be the 29th year of the event, which began in 1989 with the university’s first president David Rice.

“This event really is a great way to get the president in front of students and interacting with them,” Caylin Blockley, assistant director of alumni and volunteer services, said. “Dr. Bennett is very friendly and approachable and she is committed to the event.”

Bennett will be joined by members of the President’s Council, which includes Vice President of Government and University Relations Cindy Brinker, Provost Ron Rochon and Vice President for Finance and Administration Steve Bridges.

She will officially retire as the university’s third president June 30. The next president, which will be chosen by the Board of Trustees, is expected to be announced the first week of April.

The breakfast, hosted by the Student Alumni Association (SAA), will start at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Blockley said the question and answer time usually lasts around an hour before 9 a.m. classes begin.

“She is very committed to having students ask her questions,” he said. “We have asked her in the past if she would like to change the format and make it more of a state of the university address, but she thinks the format is great the way it is.”

Blockley said the Student Alumni Association will have a discussion with the next president to see if they would like to continue the tradition. He said he expects the event to continue and hopefully the next president will be willing to answer questions from the student body.

“Last year we had a student ask about the rose bushes on campus,” he said. “You expect to hear a question about the buildings under construction but it is always unique to hear these questions you didn’t expect.”

Blockley said the SAA usually plans for about 150 guests, but they are expecting more this year due to it being Bennett’s last year.

The event is open to students, faculty, staff and alumni and anybody can ask questions. Students eat free, but the cost is $7 for non-students. Reservations are required and can be made at the Alumni Relations and Volunteer USI office, by phone at 812-464-1924 or by email at student.alumni@usi.edu.

“I would encourage any freshman or first-year students or anyone who has never gone before to go,” he said. “This is the year to go and it may be their last chance to meet with Dr. Bennett before the end of the year.”

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