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Chocolate chip cookies

by Anthea Ayebaze | Sep 28, 2016

One of my favorite things to do as president is sending emails to students that begin, “My wife, Renée, makes awesome oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and a bag of cookies with your name on it is waiting in my office.” Sometimes the cookies go to students we know well and sometimes to someone I just met for the first time on the sidewalk. They are a tangible expression of our affection for our students.

Renée’s cookies are awesome. They are soft and loaded with chocolate chips. Some students think I’m bragging about Renee’s baking out of loyalty, but they discover I’m sharing an evidence-based fact (the evidence being that no one has ever declined a second bag when offered).

Students love homemade cookies and, for me, it’s fun to have students visit my office. For most, it’s the first time they’ve been here. Some arrive with trepidation and most leave with a smile.

Each email ends with a warning: “if you don’t pick up your cookies in the next day or so, I can’t guarantee that some of them won’t have been eaten when you come by.” After all, I have 40 years of experience with Renée’s cookies and affection only goes so far.