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RPI 2021-22: Picking Up Where We Left Off

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  • Originally posted by sezenack View Post
    He graduated in '81, so it was before Addessa really made the team a national power. However, the odds he likes hockey and wants the team to do well are decent.

    Question for people who were actually alive back then (I'm a youngin' here :-P). What was the hockey culture like in the late 70s/early 80s for undergrads at RPI? Would the average student be attending games and have excitement for the team?
    There’s a reason Brown complained to the NCAA about the noise level at the Big Red Freakout.

    Also, RPI hockey was THE thing to do for entertainment on the weekends. The surrounding area was even more desolate in the winters than it is today. There was no Union hockey, UAlbany basketball, Siena basketball wasn’t as big until they beat Stanford in ‘89.
    Uncle Mickey: July 23, 1950-July 22, 2003

    WRPI, 91.5 FM...usually color commentary.

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    • The complaint wasn’t about the noise that the fans made, but rather the noisemakers that they used to give out at BRF (cowbells and vuvuelas were the loudest). But the student section was very noisy back then!!
      Of course, back in the 80’s, RPI hockey was the only Division I team in town. Union hockey and both UAlbany and Siena basketball were all Division III until Siena went D-1 in the late 80’s.

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      • Originally posted by RPI fan 4 life View Post
        Of course, back in the 80’s, RPI hockey was the only Division I team in town. Union hockey and both UAlbany and Siena basketball were all Division III until Siena went D-1 in the late 80’s.
        Siena has been a DI hoop program since the mid-70s, Before the 3-division system was introduced in the early 70s, Siena had a nationally relevant program in the middle part of the 20th century, but had a really barren run between the 60s and the late 80s. I think Siena's D-III period was actually short-lived (as in less than 5 years).

        RPI hockey was certainly a big deal in the 80s, and a hard ticket to get in the heyday. It is not alone in today's world of declining attendance, although I think the increased local options are less of an issue relative to (1) the increased availability to watch any live sport on TV/streaming, and (2) RPI's performance over the last 25 seasons.

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        • I agree that having an alum as President should be a plus, but there certainly are RPI students who do not care at all about hockey. Furthermore having someone connected with MIT which at least as I recall pays virtually no attention to athletics can be a negative. (I wonder who was an MIT alumna. ;-) )
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          • Originally posted by Ralph Baer View Post
            I agree that having an alum as President should be a plus, but there certainly are RPI students who do not care at all about hockey. Furthermore having someone connected with MIT which at least as I recall pays virtually no attention to athletics can be a negative. (I wonder who was an MIT alumna. ;-) )
            Not caring about it and not aware how vital it is to the school are mutually exclusive to one another
            Uncle Mickey: July 23, 1950-July 22, 2003

            WRPI, 91.5 FM...usually color commentary.

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            • Originally posted by Ralph Baer View Post
              I agree that having an alum as President should be a plus, but there certainly are RPI students who do not care at all about hockey. Furthermore having someone connected with MIT which at least as I recall pays virtually no attention to athletics can be a negative. (I wonder who was an MIT alumna. ;-) )
              Some truth in your statement (was not SAJ someone with an MIT background?)- but their D3 Football team has gotten some support.
              Take the shortest distance to the puck and arrive in ill humor

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              • I view this as a positive hire. My gut tells me the Board of Trustees knew it had to hire someone who could heal the wounds created by SAJ (reference back to the scathing survey results of on-campus admin and staff) while having the ability, temperament and skill to further the mission of the institution. Schmidt's quote gives me hope:

                "...But there is really something special about being given the opportunity to lead your undergraduate alma mater. RPI has a very bright future, and I look forward to helping to shape that future. My wife, Lyn, and I are very excited to return to a campus which we knew very well 40 years ago, and to reacquaint ourselves with the RPI community.”
                ""Ralph is the Chuck Norris of this board. Ralph doesnt sleep he just waits." - fishcore12

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                • A bit more info from the MIT paper: https://news.mit.edu/2021/martin-sch...ident-rpi-1123


                  “When Marty accepted the role of provost in 2014, he was exceptionally well prepared,” President Reif wrote in his letter to the community today. “Calm, thoughtful, optimistic but appropriately cautious, with a nimble mind and an easy, unpretentious manner, he quickly became one of my closest advisors.”
                  ""Ralph is the Chuck Norris of this board. Ralph doesnt sleep he just waits." - fishcore12

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                  • Originally posted by Ralph Baer View Post
                    I agree that having an alum as President should be a plus, but there certainly are RPI students who do not care at all about hockey. Furthermore having someone connected with MIT which at least as I recall pays virtually no attention to athletics can be a negative. (I wonder who was an MIT alumna. ;-) )
                    That's both true and false. MIT dropped hockey when my daughter was a student there about 10 years ago. She also signed up to be a cheerleader because she thought it would help with school spirit but she stopped after one football season with crowds averaging at most 100. She said at one game she was actually able to count the attendance in the second quarter (IIRC it was in the 60s). On the other hand, they had one of the largest athletic departments in the country in terms of number of sports offered and student participation. In the intervening years they've actually had some successful football seasons (with attendance comparable to ours) and a basketball team that made the D-III tournament about 5 years in a row with one visit to the semi-finals.

                    As for SAJ's connection to MIT, when I took my daughter for the tour they had plaques of famous alums along the main campus corridor. Hers was right outside the Admissions Office. When Seth came on board Shirley brought him to a fund raising event in NYC. We approached her and I said my daughter wanted to attend an engineering school with a beaver as a mascot and asked her to explain why she should want to attend RPI - she stammered out an answer about RPI's greater focus on undergraduate education. It was the only time I ever saw her appear uncertain and not in complete control.

                    Lastly, Schmidt's time at RPI corresponded with the end of the Salfi era and the beginning of Addesa's. We had some good and bad seasons during that period, but the highlight was obviously the beginning of the Big Red Freakout tradition (which, assuming he was there 4 years, started the season before his arrival). He was also there when the school and the Union approved the awarding of scholarships, which was the precursor to the '85 championship team.

                    Edit: re: Sezenack's query about the hockey atmosphere in the late 70s and early 80s, suffice it to say the hockey line was a real thing and even after bad seasons would last for weeks as the tents wrapped around the Student Union waiting for season tickets to go on sale. Back then there were poles running along each side of HFH (now only in the corners since the '82 renovation) and we had maps showing the view from each seat so we could select the best available when our turn came. If you didn't, you risked getting a seat with the view of one or both goals partially obstructed.
                    Last edited by rpi82; 11-24-2021, 12:32 PM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Waite21 View Post

                      I know nothing about why the women's basketball team's games last weekend were cancelled.

                      I do note that the RPIathletics website still indicates that Tuesday night's men's basketball game is scheduled to start at 7 PM in the ECAV Arena, and the hockey game against Northeastern is still scheduled for the Field House on Friday. The latest COVID update at RPI.edu is an update on spectator policies, dated November 8. Is there any evidence, other than the cancellation of a couple women's basketball games, pointing to mass cancellations of everything and anything?
                      With the students gone and no members of the general public admitted I expect a crowd comparable to that of a few of our intramural league playoff games back in the '80s. The Field House is going to be an echo chamber. If anyone really wants to hear how the team communicates during a game here's their chance.

                      Comment


                      • FWIW, my brother worked at MIT and met RPI’s new President a few times. He said Schmidt has a reputation for being a ‘hard ***’ which my bother attributes to his being in charge of MIT’s finances. So my take away is that just because he is an alumni, don’t get your hopes up. In my book there is only one formula that will result in a bigger investment in the hockey program: success followed by strong attendance along with a greater alumni support for the school, particularly monetary support.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by 25+years View Post
                          FWIW, my brother worked at MIT and met RPI’s new President a few times. He said Schmidt has a reputation for being a ‘hard ***’ which my bother attributes to his being in charge of MIT’s finances. So my take away is that just because he is an alumni, don’t get your hopes up. In my book there is only one formula that will result in a bigger investment in the hockey program: success followed by strong attendance along with a greater alumni support for the school, particularly monetary support.
                          With the way Shirley's crew screwed up the school's financial condition we may need a hard*** in the top office. They will need tight controls while rebuilding all of bridges she torched (financial, organizational and social) until fund-raising picks up and the school is restored to fiscal and educational order. Being seen as a supporter of students and student life, including athletics, is a way to generate goodwill and buy time while that happens.
                          Last edited by rpi82; 11-24-2021, 10:00 PM.

                          Comment


                          • An email I received from Cait Bennett, the current Grand Marshal. Bolded emphasis is my own.

                            Dear Members of the Union,

                            Yesterday, Dr. Martin A. Schmidt was appointed as the 19th President of RPI.

                            As your Grand Marshal, I have been working to increase student representation in the presidential selection process since Dr. Jackson announced her retirement in June. In the beginning phase, a cross sectional group of students were engaged to develop the Presidential Profile, which outlined the direction of the Institute and qualities desired in potential candidates. There were six student representatives, including myself, involved in the interviewing process, asking questions and submitting feedback about each candidate.

                            You all know about Dr. Schmidt’s professional experience as Provost at MIT, but his interview provided insight into his leadership style. Dr. Schmidt is a humble, passionate, and sincere leader. Many of his passions, including accessible education and inclusivity, are consistently developed into organizations with tangible community impacts, like edX and MindHandHeart. His dedication to life-long learning shows in his willingness to reflect on past failures and successes, and he diligently credits his teammates when reviewing accomplishments.

                            Most importantly, Dr. Schmidt sincerely cares about students. He asked about our hockey team, our Student Union, and the future challenges we see. Dr. Schmidt continued mentoring and teaching even while delving into administrative work at MIT, and was therefore able to provide acute insight on student concerns. He is focused on organizational strength from a grassroots perspective — starting with students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

                            Expanding and organizing student representation in this presidential search was a huge step for shared governance at RPI. To say that the last few years have been tumultuous would be an understatement; in many ways, students have been disenfranchised and our input has been disregarded. Rebuilding trust between administrators and students will not happen overnight, but it will happen. I expect that the transition in leadership will come with its own challenges, and your student leaders are preparing to face them head on.

                            I am truly optimistic about the potential of Dr. Schmidt’s term. Student voices are best heard by sincere leaders who listen.

                            Have a happy thanksgiving.

                            Warmest regards,
                            Cait Bennett
                            156th Grand Marshal
                            Student Body President

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by rpi82 View Post
                              On the other hand, they had one of the largest athletic departments in the country in terms of number of sports offered and student participation. In the intervening years they've actually had some successful football seasons (with attendance comparable to ours) and a basketball team that made the D-III tournament about 5 years in a row with one visit to the semi-finals.
                              Correct. MIT currently has one of the best D-III athletic programs in the country. They finished sixth in the Director's Cup in 18-19, the most recent full year of rankings Impressive, considering the resources competing schools spend on athletics (Top 10 was Williams, Hopkins, Wash U., Middlebury, Emory, MIT, Tufts, Amherst, U. Chicago, UW Eau Claire---RPI was 45th, Union 179th).

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by sezenack View Post
                                An email I received from Cait Bennett, the current Grand Marshal. Bolded emphasis is my own.

                                Dear Members of the Union,

                                Yesterday, Dr. Martin A. Schmidt was appointed as the 19th President of RPI.

                                As your Grand Marshal, I have been working to increase student representation in the presidential selection process since Dr. Jackson announced her retirement in June. In the beginning phase, a cross sectional group of students were engaged to develop the Presidential Profile, which outlined the direction of the Institute and qualities desired in potential candidates. There were six student representatives, including myself, involved in the interviewing process, asking questions and submitting feedback about each candidate.

                                You all know about Dr. Schmidt’s professional experience as Provost at MIT, but his interview provided insight into his leadership style. Dr. Schmidt is a humble, passionate, and sincere leader. Many of his passions, including accessible education and inclusivity, are consistently developed into organizations with tangible community impacts, like edX and MindHandHeart. His dedication to life-long learning shows in his willingness to reflect on past failures and successes, and he diligently credits his teammates when reviewing accomplishments.

                                Most importantly, Dr. Schmidt sincerely cares about students. He asked about our hockey team, our Student Union, and the future challenges we see. Dr. Schmidt continued mentoring and teaching even while delving into administrative work at MIT, and was therefore able to provide acute insight on student concerns. He is focused on organizational strength from a grassroots perspective — starting with students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

                                Expanding and organizing student representation in this presidential search was a huge step for shared governance at RPI. To say that the last few years have been tumultuous would be an understatement; in many ways, students have been disenfranchised and our input has been disregarded. Rebuilding trust between administrators and students will not happen overnight, but it will happen. I expect that the transition in leadership will come with its own challenges, and your student leaders are preparing to face them head on.

                                I am truly optimistic about the potential of Dr. Schmidt’s term. Student voices are best heard by sincere leaders who listen.

                                Have a happy thanksgiving.

                                Warmest regards,
                                Cait Bennett
                                156th Grand Marshal
                                Student Body President
                                Finally, real information by someone who was in on the process.
                                It gives me great hope for the institute as a whole including the athletic department.
                                Of course, most candidates will give you what you want to hear in an interview, but Dr. Schmidt has a public background that should give insight to what we can expect in a president.
                                I look forward to the changes that he brings to the school and the athletic department.
                                Hopefully he will make some public statements that will give us a real indication of what to expect.
                                Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
                                Benjamin Franklin
                                The harder I practice, the luckier I get.
                                Gary Player

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