One of the great attributes -- and joys -- of the environmental and natural resources graduate program is the opportunity it provides to expand our own horizons, both in personal and community terms. Last night is a good example of how we all benefit personally and in a communal sense.
Diego Parravicini (LLM graduate 2008) will soon be returning to his home country, Argentina, to join one of South America's leading law firms, Estudio Beccar Varela. Diego has been a wonderful member of our community since first coming to Denver in August 2007, and I wanted to wish him well on his return home. So what better reason for a mid-summer (in the northern hemisphere at least!) cook out.
Joining me in saying goodbye -- at least for now -- were other members of "our community:" Fred Cheever, DU Professor of Law and newly appointed Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Pedro Camacho (LLM 2009, who hails from Spain) and his wife Olga; Cesar Conde (LLM 2008, Mexico); Lucy Daberkow, Assistant Program Director, her husband Eric, and los angeles Amelie and Emma); Kevin Van Dyke (LLM 2008, U.S.) and his wife Meaghan; Denver attorney and nationally known environmental lawyer Lori Potter (whose law firm Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP employed Diego for the year following Diego's graduation) and her husband Eric; and Ines Vergara (LLM 2002, Argentina).
These occasions are bittersweet in many ways. On one hand, those of us who live in Denver are sad to see a friend and colleague leave. But on the other hand, the community that the graduate program represents is a vibrant and energetic one and just because one is not physically here does not mean that they are not here in spirit. Moreover, as all of us in the program work to establish an even more dynamic community, we are reminded about how our lives will likely intersect again in the future based on our shared interests in the environment, in the careful development of natural resources, and in the health of the planet more broadly.
Those who study in the program will never really be "gone" in the sense our community is a global one. Obviously, for some months or years we may reside in one place -- Denver in this case -- and then move to another place. But the ties that bind us as members of this community are strong and enduring.
And so we say to our friend Diego, "Buen suerte en Buenos Aires y hasta muy pronto!" (Good luck in Argentina and see you very soon!)