Volleyball vs. UNO
Dr. Rodney Bennett talks about Volleyball Day in Nebraska, how the connections to and with UNL can bring people together and how well he and his family have been received in all parts of the state by Nebraskans.
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[00:00:00.240]And even I think most of the Canadian fire smoke
[00:00:03.540]out of the way, and they made sure that didn't bother us.
[00:00:06.090]The wind is a little noticeable, but not bad at all.
[00:00:09.840]And let's bring in now into our Husker Sports Network booth.
[00:00:13.860]There's Lauren Cook West.
[00:00:14.693]My name John Baylor, the 21st Chancellor
[00:00:17.070]of University of Nebraska Lincoln Chancellor Rodney Bennett
[00:00:20.220]after nine years as the president
[00:00:22.560]of the University of Southern Mississippi.
[00:00:23.850]Prior to that, more than 10 years
[00:00:25.620]as senior administrator at the University of Georgia.
[00:00:27.600]Prior to that, Dean of students at Winthrop and Rockville,
[00:00:31.020]And prior to that, associate Dean of Student Life
[00:00:33.300]middle Tennessee State, where he is an alumnus.
[00:00:37.343]Hello, great to see you
[00:00:38.880]John, good evening to you.
[00:00:40.200]Good evening to our Husker fans all across the state
[00:00:43.290]and across the country.
[00:00:44.880]Lauren, good evening to you as well.
[00:00:46.500]I'm so happy and honored to be here.
[00:00:48.870]Look forward to visiting with you all
[00:00:51.630]on what is absolutely an undisputable
[00:00:53.340]night of excellence and recognition
[00:00:56.400]of the contributions that women
[00:00:58.080]have made in every field of human endeavor.
[00:01:01.620]And I cannot be more grateful that the state of Nebraska
[00:01:05.430]and the University of Nebraska Lincoln
[00:01:09.441]is leading the way in elevating
[00:01:10.770]and celebrating these amazing contributions.
[00:01:13.890]Chancellor Bennett, you decided to call off school today.
[00:01:17.880]I'm wondering if you got a lot of pushback from students.
[00:01:20.400]I got zero pushback, but one one point of clarification,
[00:01:25.890]we are what we're calling
[00:01:27.510]an in instructional continuity today.
[00:01:31.140]Which was similar to what we used during the COVID period.
[00:01:34.230]Most of our classes were held online.
[00:01:37.020]So for the record, we have not been closed today.
[00:01:39.840]And I hope that all
[00:01:40.673]of our students logged in for academic construction.
[00:01:44.400]Because that's very important.
[00:01:46.493]But I'm also very grateful
[00:01:48.192]and honored that they are here today.
[00:01:49.590]It's really hard.
[00:01:50.610]Lauren said in the last section
[00:01:52.650]a segment that is really hard to describe
[00:01:54.840]for people who are not here,
[00:01:56.640]what this environment is like, what the energy is like,
[00:01:59.790]and how much people love the state of Nebraska, number one,
[00:02:03.870]and how much people love the University of Nebraska Lincoln
[00:02:08.266]and the Sister institutions Kearney
[00:02:09.600]and Wayne State in Omaha.
[00:02:11.580]I cannot commend you and whoever the other organizers
[00:02:14.190]were to include this foursome.
[00:02:16.290]So it becomes beyond a volleyball celebration
[00:02:19.350]and a state celebration,
[00:02:20.700]a public four year university celebration
[00:02:23.010]That's correct and as a person who's an outdoorsman,
[00:02:26.040]I'll use this reference for all sort of fishing
[00:02:28.470]in the same pond.
[00:02:30.210]And so what elevates one of our state universities
[00:02:33.360]or our institutions in the university system,
[00:02:37.050]elevates us all.
[00:02:38.940]And so to have the opportunity to be here
[00:02:40.950]on this historic night with my colleagues from all
[00:02:44.040]across the state is just very special to me.
[00:02:46.770]And to Temple and this institution.
[00:02:50.010]Your wife Temple, and you have two adult children as well.
[00:02:53.130]And Chancellor, I've been here quite a while.
[00:02:58.392]I even marvel at the magnitude of the fans,
[00:03:03.420]the passion of the fans.
[00:03:05.070]Now you're an insider now yourself of course,
[00:03:07.650]but you've only been here a few months,
[00:03:08.670]so you have perhaps a little bit
[00:03:09.810]of an outsider's perspective.
[00:03:10.980]How do you think people beyond the boundaries
[00:03:13.058]of this state will react to the pictures, the photos,
[00:03:16.080]the television coverage and the radio broadcast
[00:03:18.540]of this spectacle tonight?
[00:03:20.160]I think that they're gonna be envious of us
[00:03:22.050]and they're gonna wish that they had made a decision to come
[00:03:24.480]to Nebraska tonight and be a part of this.
[00:03:27.120]And I think that this is a testament
[00:03:29.370]to how important it is to the human condition
[00:03:32.610]that we are able to gather and interact with each other
[00:03:35.580]and bond with each other and enjoy the best of each other.
[00:03:39.210]And I think that that's what universities are all about
[00:03:41.987]bringing people together.
[00:03:43.590]I think that that's what great cities are about,
[00:03:46.380]the city of Lincoln,
[00:03:47.760]of how we can work together across departmental lines,
[00:03:51.660]divisional lines, organizational lines,
[00:03:54.390]to think about bringing a community together.
[00:03:57.030]This is an exhibit A of what it means to have a community
[00:04:01.410]because there are all types of people
[00:04:03.090]from all types of communities in this state who are here
[00:04:06.390]for a common goal and a common purpose.
[00:04:09.240]And that's the elevation of volleyball and the celebration
[00:04:13.080]of the amazing, wonderful contributions
[00:04:15.720]that women make all across our country.
[00:04:18.690]Chancellor do you get the sense
[00:04:20.216]the connections of this community
[00:04:24.150]behind the huskers, behind this sport,
[00:04:26.340]are a little broader and a little deeper than most?
[00:04:30.360]And I think
[00:04:31.193]that that's been evidenced throughout the history
[00:04:32.940]of the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
[00:04:35.520]I think that one
[00:04:36.360]of the things that drew me here was the opportunity to work
[00:04:39.870]with alumni and donors and students in the community
[00:04:44.340]that supports the university come what may.
[00:04:47.700]When we're at our mountain, our support is there.
[00:04:50.130]When we're in our valley, the support is there.
[00:04:53.400]And there's such a desire for us to move
[00:04:56.603]and be in lockstep sort of moving in the same direction.
[00:04:59.970]Chancellor, you've only been here a few months.
[00:05:01.440]Final thought from you, please.
[00:05:04.440]What have your experiences been like?
[00:05:05.640]I heard you went to Hamilton in Lincoln, amazing.
[00:05:08.310]Hamilton played for like eight nights
[00:05:11.100]and I think there were 14 shows in Lincoln, Nebraska.
[00:05:13.650]It's amazing you experienced that,
[00:05:15.000]but you've experienced a lot more share with us.
[00:05:16.830]Well, Hamilton was wonderful
[00:05:18.900]and I was glad that we were able to do that.
[00:05:20.520]But I think in addition to that,
[00:05:22.560]what has been remarkable is the way that I
[00:05:25.200]and my family have been received by Nebraskans.
[00:05:28.290]Everywhere that we've gone in all parts of the state,
[00:05:30.780]there has been such warmth and such genuineness
[00:05:35.543]of receiving us and wanting us to be successful.
[00:05:37.830]And sort of people committing to do whatever they
[00:05:40.236]need to do to help this university
[00:05:42.840]sort of continue the trajectory that we're on.
[00:05:45.960]And that's a trajectory
[00:05:47.190]of being one of our country's most important institutions.
[00:05:51.240]Chancellor Rodney Bennett, what an absolute pleasure.
[00:05:53.100]Thank you so much for stopping by.
[00:05:54.660]Thank you, Lauren.
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