Dr. Marrero’s Reaction to Celebrate Together

Georgia Southern’s President’s reaction to huge Armstrong event


Rebecca Munday

Dr. Marrero gets dunked

The Armstrong Campus hosted “Celebrate Together” in front of the Student Union on Thursday, Oct. 21. The event was attended by hundreds of students, faculty and staff from Georgia Southern’s Armstrong, Liberty and Statesboro campuses.

Among those in attendance was University President, Dr. Kyle Marrero, who had a chance to observe and participate in the various festivities. During Dr. Marrero’s monthly interview with The George-Anne Media Group, The Inkwell spoke with him about his reaction to the event.

“Look, I loved it. I had a great time… There were over 800 students that actually registered that they were there… if those were just the ones registering there had to be 2 or 300 more that didn’t.”

Marrero highlighted the high attendance, the diversity of attendees and the ideal weather as factors that contributed to a highly positive experience for the recently-resumed event, which existed prior to the Georgia Southern consolidation as “Celebrate Armstrong.”

“Between the 92 booths of departments, of student organizations, the carnival fun atmosphere and a gorgeous day, you couldn’t have a better, more perfect day, temperature wise, everything,” Marrero said.

“I think it was such a statement and a testimony at bringing community together: Faculty, staff and students of all campuses.”

One highlight of the event was the dunking booth, where various members of faculty offered to be dunked to raise money for the Armstrong Commitment Fund. Dr. Marrero was one of the featured participants.

“Not that I’m counting, but it was 38 times I was dunked,” Dr. Marrero said during his monthly interview.

Georgia Southern’s President even took one for the proverbial team during the event, as his enthusiasm for participating in the dunk booth led to an unexpected toe injury. He mentioned that he noticed some discomfort in one of his toes early on, after his first couple of dunks.

“[I said] ‘Ouch, that hurts.’ So I changed how I’d land when I’d fall in, and that night I’m getting ready for bed, and I looked down, and it’s just black and blue and sideways… I must have broken it or bruised it,” Dr. Marrero explained.

Overall, however, President Marrero was able to enjoy himself, and the ailment, despite some pain, did nothing to derail Dr. Marrero’s positive attitude towards “Celebrate Together.”

“It was a lot of fun. We had a great time. The water was sufficiently cold so I wasn’t feeling it a lot…,” said Dr. Marrero.

Marrero mentioned that he has plenty of people to give credit towards making this event as successful as it was, but there were a handful he specifically mentioned when asked if there were any unsung heroes of the event.

“I gotta lift up both Patricia Holt, faculty member, Trina Smith, staff member, and then Lisa Sweeney… literally dozens of people helped… but these were three people that were really the catalysts and the organizers and drivers of so much of what went on.”

Currently there is hope that “Celebrate Together” will continue to be held, potentially on a per-semester basis, but firm plans have not been committed to at press time There is, however, clearly a desire from all parties involved to create more opportunities for events such as these.

“I think that more than anything, it shows how hungry everyone is, and I don’t know if we can say ‘post-COVID’ yet, but at least to where we’re comfortable coming together, particularly outside. So let’s take more and more advantage of that and see what we can do to build more and more vibrancy and engagement.”

Visit the Inkwell’s website as well as our Campus Corkboard for more information about upcoming events, and for resources to help those looking to have their event covered by the publication.