Bill Mares, right, of the Vermont Council on World Affairs, presents Saint Michael's President Jack Neuhauser with a gift of appreciation for his support of the group, during Tuesday's VCWA regular meeting in Pomerleau Alumni Center on campus. Below, President Neuhauser offers remarks to the group after the gift presentation.
Saint Michael’s College’s global outlook and support of international programs was on display in the Pomerleau Alumni Center Tuesday night, Dec. 5.
President Jack Neuhauser received special recognition and said a few words during the Vermont Council on World Affairs regular meeting prior to a talk by the main speaker, Ambassador Peter Galbraith.
VCWA Board Member Bill Mares, in presenting a gift at the start of the meeting to Neuhauser, said: “I’d like to represent the board in thanking President Neuhauser for his personal -- and Saint. Mike’s’ institutional -- gifts to the Council over the years.” Mares recalled how the president “supported the fact that we got free space from Fort Ethan Allen through St. Mike’s when we were desperate for a place to go.”
Further gratitude is due Neuhauser, Mares said, since “he also permitted us to use his celebrated assistant, Marilyn Cormier for many years” – Cormier was deeply involved in the group’s activities -- as well as attending several events sponsored by the group over the years.
“I have a great love for St. Mike’s,” said Mares, describing his studies for his teaching certificate at the College. “I thought people who taught me here, particularly Sue Kuntz, walked on water, and I think I ended up being a better teacher because of what St. Mike’s taught,” he said.“The institution had a culture and philosophy and a passion for engaging Vermonters in the world beyond our borders, and certainly some of that is a result of President Neuhauser’s leadership here.”
Mares then presented the president with a decorative globe on a stand with the engraved words “With great appreciation to President John J. Neuhauser from the Vermont Council on World Affairs, 2017.”
After thanking Mares and the group, Neuhauser said he regarded it as a privilege for the College to host VCWA. “This is very much a part of our tradition as a college … we were essentially founded by a group of French expatriates, a group thrown out of France in middle of 19th century who managed to wander initially into Alburgh but eventually to the Kelly farm across the street, so our history is still very much also a part of the world history.” He pointed to the College’s “very active study-abroad program,” noting “Most of us in Vermont think this is the best place on Earth, but every once in a while you have to get outside it! Thanks for the work you do -- it’s very important for us.”
The Vermont Council on World Affairs (VCWA) works to promote awareness and understanding of the world and its people, places and cultures through education and engagement. VCWA Executive Director Patricia Preston was at Tuesday’s meeting and spoke briefly too. In cooperation with the public and private sectors, the VCWA helps develop an understanding of the world and its people through public forums, hosting speakers, ambassadors and other international visitors and working with educational institutions to develop programs for students, faculty, staff and community.