Cartwright busy as ever as she bids farewell

Rachel Abbey

In a small conference room in Henderson Hall Wednesday, President Carol Cartwright talked to six doctoral students and their professor about her experiences in education.

“Opportunities presented themselves, and I weighed the pros and cons and pursued them,” she said.

Averil McClelland, associate professor of cultural foundations of education, asked Cartwright to come speak to the class, a doctoral seminar about the history and future of higher education. Cartwright is usually invited to be a guest lecturer at a few classes each year.

“April is an exceptionally busy month,” Cartwright said.

Many departments and colleges use the last weeks of school to hold their annual events for student, staff and faculty awards and alumni recognition, and she is often asked to speak.

This year, Cartwright’s schedule is even more full because of activities honoring her before her retirement. All the campuses are holding a farewell event.

This month, Cartwright has more than 40 speeches to give.

“It’s a very comfortable experience for me now,” she said.

Cartwright said she has been giving presentations since she was a faculty member, and the key is planning ahead.

“People tell me that I’m a very effective public speaker, and I think that’s because I take preparation very seriously,” Cartwright said.

Staff members help her write the speeches, but Cartwright said she chooses the direction of the material.

For the regional farewell events, Cartwright has been trying to take the attention off herself and onto the campuses’ accomplishments. The university keeps tabs on “points of pride,” which she draws on to shape her speeches.

“It’s been good for the units that are sponsoring events because it’s been an opportunity to put a very positive focus on their achievements,” she said.

Contact administration reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected]