Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Surprise visit in the chancellor's office

Fifth Element members with Kim Schmidt outside UW-Eau Claire chancellor's office
Kim Schmidt, wife of Chancellor James Schmidt, was photographed with members
of UW-Eau Claire a cappella group Fifth Element after they put on a surprise
performance Oct. 9 in the chancellor's office. Fifth Element members, from left, include
Adam VandenHeuvel, Tyler Graf, Adam Bergman, Seth Hale, Grant Nerison and Will Berendsen.
On a recent afternoon,  I heard wonderful singing coming from Schofield Auditorium and walked in to find one of our male a cappella groups rehearsing. I listened for a bit, thoroughly enjoying what I heard, and took the opportunity to have a conversation with these talented young men.

I learned they are members of Fifth Element, and they come from a variety of academic majors here at UW-Eau Claire. I'm growing to love that here: So many students take advantage of the countless opportunities on this campus to pursue diverse interests outside their fields of study. It's exciting to see them pursuing their academic and career goals while still keeping active with outside activities purely for the enjoyment of it. I'm happy to see them setting in place the groundwork for lives of balance.

Unfortunately, I missed a visit from these talented students today when they showed up at my office, ready to put on a surprise performance, and I was out. Fortunately, my wife, Kim, happened to be there and, along with a number of happily surprised staff members, was able to hear them sing. Judging from her happy face in the photo above, I missed a really good show.