Advancing via Retreat

Photo by Jessie Guilliot, Director of Residential Life

by Deborah Brown McCabe, Associate Professor of Marketing

By now I'm sure that the Walker Retreat was as much of an orientation and bonding experience for me as it was for the students. My first full-day on campus was the day that the retreat began. After a whirlwind of faculty meetings, I found myself in a van with a group of Menlo faculty members, all of whom I had met only hours before. I have to admit, it seemed a little odd to be stashing an overnight bag and my favorite pillow in the van when I had just met these people, but stash we did!

Everything about the retreat reinforced that I had made the right decision to come to Menlo. The weekend was structured so students could interact in small and large groups, engage with a variety of people, participate in thoughtful discussions and fun activities, and certainly laugh a lot. As a new member of the Menlo community, I reaped the same benefits as the students. I see faces all the time that I recognize from the event. I reference shared experiences about the weekend in my MGT 101 class. The weekend was the start of some wonderful friendships with people from all areas of the campus.

As I said to my husband when I got back home, “How often would you expect to find yourself sitting around a dormitory with a group of co-workers at 1:30 a.m., all wearing your pj's, telling stories on yourselves?” What the weekend signaled to me was that we aren't just students, staff, and faculty; we are a community. I couldn't have asked for a better introduction to the Menlo Way.