This morning was the annual Chamber of Commerce breakfast with Deval Patrick. I haven't normally attended these things in the past, but with Alisa on Select Board, I should probably assume I'll be going to more and more of them. It brought about 500 of the Amherst government and business leaders together to hear Deval speak.
Deval offered a different perspective to the business community than the one he's given in the other places I've heard him speak (to ADTC, to Higher Ed, and at a press conference). Many of the same themes were there, but spun from a different perspective. He made the case for education and infrastructure emphasizing the need to compete with other communities around the world that are positioning themselves to attract business. He did emphasize that he doesn't see education as a "workforce training" issue, but as a vehicle to an informed and active citizenry that can enable the commonwealth to achieve it's potential. He also emphasized education that builds and encourages creativity. It was a good speech.
I saw a few familiar faces: Jack Wilson, the president of the UMass system was there, Stan and Ellen (our legislators), and many of the people who supported Alisa's campaign. I'm always suprised, however, by the people I don't see. I essentially didn't see anyone from UMass Amherst. No chancellor or provost. No other faculty either. Maybe someone was there, but if they were I didn't recognize them.