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Pulp and Paper Annual Celebration Extraordinaire

When PSE students, industry partners, donors, families, faculty and staff gather to celebrate the Paper Science and Engineering program at the annual Pulp & Paper spring events, it never disappoints.

Domtar takes the stage

The annual celebration kicked off with the general session featuring this year’s keynote speaker, Domtar’s CEO, Mr. John Williams, and also from Domtar, the Marlboro Mill, their mill manager Mr. Allan Bohn. Mr. Williams engaged an audience of 200 as he spoke on Domtar’s manufacturing excellence, history, key strategic position as well as tips for new engineers starting their career. A delightful surprise regarding Mr. Williams, in addition to leading Domtar since 2009 to the third largest pulp producer in the world, apparently also had been dabbling in standup comedy because his speaking session had the audience laughing out of their seats. Mr. Williams was a pleasure to listen to and we all walked walked away with a gain of knowledge. His keynote speech and question responses were the perfect initiation of this wonderous celebration of the Pulp and Paper Foundation.

There’s value in listening to history

Immediately following the general session, the networking event ensued where over 300 attendees consisting of alumni, donors, industry professionals, staff, and students converged all in support of this wonderous PSE program. Alumni from decades past were able to reunite and share stories of how the program operated historically. One instance is Mr. and Mrs. Hitchings speaking about how Mr. Hitching’s father, Robert G. Hitchings, had PSE students spend their spring break riding in a “rickety old bus” visiting various pulp and paper facilities. The Hitchings expressed “that while grueling these were some of the best times of their lives”. It was glorious being able to interact with so many delightful people that support the PSE program, it is truly an inspiring event.

PSE Program supported well

The evening concluded with the annual banquet or as PSE Undergraduate Coordinator, Dr. Med Byrd has termed it, the “love feast.” All attendees proceeded to the massive Talley Coastal Ballroom, where we enjoyed a delicious and premium quality plated meal while listening to the many endowed scholarships and supporters of the PSE program. The banquet concluded with a grand finale where all 29 May & December 2023 graduating seniors went to the podium and proudly announced their degrees and post-graduation plans. The banquet concluded on a warm note showing the supporters how they are changing students’ lives and improving the pulp and paper industry. This PSE program would not be what it was without all the support from donors, alumni, faculty, and staff. This event celebrates the accomplishments of their support!

Please enjoy the photo recap of the day

By Guest Blogger Wallace Layman