Request for Proposals

Creativity and Perseverance

Convocation Year 2016-2017

“The miracle, or the power, that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance under the prompting of a brave, determined spirit,” wrote Mark Twain.  “While we have the gift of life,” observed actor Gilda Radner, “it seems to me that the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die – whether it is our spirit, our creativity, or our glorious uniqueness.”

The Convocation Committee would like to announce that this year’s speaker will be … a surprise!  This year, we have joined with the hardworking team at the Rockefeller Arts Center (RAC) to find a speaker who will complement the gala celebration that is planned to mark the opening of the new wing of the RAC.  This new space, including a significant number of specialized studio classrooms for instruction in theatre, dance, and the visual arts, will provide improved opportunities to engage students with the arts, fostering within them a deep commitment to both creativity and perseverance that we all need to succeed.

We are excited about the speaker we have identified, but are not allowed to publicize the engagement until the contract with them is finalized.  Hopefully, this will not take too much longer to accomplish.  In the meantime, we wish to give you the opportunity to submit your proposals for campus programs in conjunction with the theme “Creativity and Perseverance.”  So engage your own creativity in trying to guess who our speaker might be, exercise perseverance in patiently awaiting the revelation, and please consider events that you could bring to the campus to celebrate the 2016-2017 academic year.

The Convocation Committee is eager to read proposals from members of the campus community who have innovative ideas about how we can all foster creativity and perseverance in ourselves.  Academic departments, student groups, campus organizations, and individuals are encouraged to submit a proposal to sponsor an event any day, evening, or weekend when classes are in session during the 2016-2017 academic year.  We will give preference to proposals with minimal budget needs that take advantage of the abundant talent available on campus and from the surrounding area. It is often the case that organizers utilize multiple sources of funding to support their event. The maximum award amount is $1500.00. Depending on the number of applicants, awards may be funded in part or in full.

Proposals could focus on topics such as the following:

  • Drawing inspiration from the arts to overcome adversity
  • The challenge of the liberal arts college: nurturing creativity at a time when students have been taught to focus narrowly on getting the job
  • Overcoming the challenges one sometimes meets when expressing that which makes them unique
  • Employing creative solutions to resolve problems
  • Creativity across the disciplines
  • Celebrating creativity and perseverance on campus

All are welcome to submit proposals, no matter your department or discipline.  Artist Tiffany Hoff tells us, “Everyone in the world is an artist!  Whether your art consists of science, mathematics, language, agriculture … we are all individuals who collectively create reality. … What is your ART in life?”  The committee will give preference to those proposals that collaborate across disciplines.

 Proposals should include the following information:

  • Title and description of event
  • Who is sponsoring the event? This should include the name(s) of the primary contact(s) and the department or organization under whose auspices the event will take place
  • Explanation of how the event fits the theme
  • When, where and under what circumstances the event will take place (we would like to spread the events out over the entire academic year). While final dates are not necessary, you should check on the availability of your proposed venue
  • The intended audience: the entire campus, a particular department or group of departments, students in a particular year of study, faculty, etc.
  • A description of how you plan to publicize the event: the Convocation Committee is only responsible for coordinating the keynote event and publicizing the series as a whole
  • A budget, including all expenses and all sources of funds (if non-convocation funds are anticipated)

 Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Congruence with the convocation theme
  • Ability to generate attendance and dialogue
  • Quality of the event
  • Reasonableness of the budget
  • Thoroughness of the proposal

The entire proposal, from title to budget, must be no longer than 3 single sided pages; deadline for receipt of proposals is Friday, April 22nd. Award notifications will be sent out approximately three weeks later. A representative of each funded project will be required to attend a meeting for coordination purposes at the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester.

Deadline for Applications: Please submit your proposals electronically to the Convocation Committee at  by Friday, April 22 at midnight.

Questions regarding the proposal process or convocation matters may be addressed to Jennifer Hildebrand at 673-3274 or send an e-mail to:

Members of the Convocation Committee are: Zachary Beaudoin, Tracy Collingwood, Jack Croxton, Dawn Eckenrode, Kevin Gleason, Jennifer Hildebrand, Karolyn Stonefelt, Denise Szalkowski, and Patrick Rocheleau.

The Convocation Committee would like to thank the Office of the President and the Faculty Student Association for their generous support in making Convocation possible.

Convocation Team

State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063