2018 NASPA Annual Conference

#NASPA18 Day Three Wrap Up Blog: Speaking out with Integrity


Day Three of the 100th NASPA Annual Conference offered attendees continued opportunities to embody our Association’s guiding principles with a focus on exercising our voices with Integrity. As has been experienced across #NASPA18, within our community we find strength in the search for common ground and actionable compromise among the full spectrum of perspectives, even when they manifest in opposition to each other. When it comes to exercising our voice as a profession, we find power in the collective beliefs we share, and Day Three was full of examples of attendees and presenters alike speaking out with Integrity about the issues of inclusion, equity and access that ignite the passion infused into our work.

Day Three was opened by featured speaker Dr. Michael Lomax, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund, recounting the rich history of his organization, its evolution, and the continued critical importance of UNCF’s access work in today’s American higher education landscape. Dr. Lomax delivered an impassioned dispelling of myths about HBCU’s, stating “HBCU’s are historically Black, not exclusively Black. They are among the most diverse institutions in the nation,” and discredited the narrative being painted by certain media outlets about their decline. 

Amidst all the learning and engagement, NASPA’s centennial celebration launch was in full swing throughout #NASPA18, and Day Three saw the #NASPAEverfiMosaic come to beautiful completion as the NASPA family portrait. Thank you to all who submitted pictures to contribute to our commemorative art installation.

The NASPA Exhibit Hall was networking central for attendees looking to interact with our huge array of exhibitors representing the most innovative and trending technologies, services, and products in the higher education marketplace. It was also a great spot to snag a tasty treat!

In the afternoon, the #NASPActs committee welcomed all #NASPA18 attendees to join in the Rally for Students Rights. Participants gathered donning signs and their best #RESIST gear and proceeded with a police escort to Thomas Paine Plaza, where student speakers from several marginalized identities shared how the current administration has threatened and depleted their rights.

Eloquence and passion were heard across the Plaza as activists and allies exercised their right to free speech with courage, poise, and integrity. At #NASPA18, #NASPActs programming continued to provide a space for the voices needing most to be heard, addressing the timely issues affecting our students, ourselves, and our society.

Day Three concluded with the NASPA Business Meeting, where the highlight each year is the passing of the individualized NASPA Gavel to incoming Board Chair Dr. Penny Rue, whose gavel was carved as a tulip to honor her love of flowers. In her acceptance speech, Dr. Rue centered her vision for the upcoming year around the idea of community; what can be gained from community with each other, and what in turn can be nurtured and empowered within the campus communities we serve. NASPA echoes the congratulations for Dr. Rue expressed by her own Wake Forest University:

One final Wrap Up Blog remains. Please check back tomorrow for the conclusion of our #NASPA18 recap with the wisdom of closing speaker Dr. Larry Roper.

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