“Ob Portu” in Latin means “Toward the port”. In the days when ships were powered only by the wind and the sea, a ship’s captain and crew had to pay close attention to the tide, the winds, and the port for that perfect moment to allow the ship to make it safely into harbor to do business. The word “opportunity” derives from the literal translation of this nautical tradition. Shakespeare talks about “ob portu” in Julius Caesar, Act 4 Scene 3:
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
We must be alert for those opportunities to head to port, and we must use wisdom to know when the time is right to take the tide. If we are asleep at the wheel, the chance could slip us by, or we might run aground.
Herb Brooks, the great coach who led the United States Olympic Hockey Team to win the Gold Medal in 1980, told his team before the famous game against the former Soviet Union, “Great moments are born from great opportunity.” As we enter our fourth year as a college, it is our time, the time for the College of Science and Mathematics to seize the opportunities before us and create great moments. Our CSM faculty, staff and students are at the forefront of meeting technological challenges in a rapidly evolving world. We are driven by our commitment to exploration, educational excellence, equity, and the pursuit of knowledge in STEM. Let’s continue to build and sustain an exceptional undergraduate and Master’s level educational environment that enlightens, sustains, strengthens and improves the intellectual and economic life of our region and the state. It’s the right place and the right time to take this tide of opportunity. Ob Portu!
Katherine Kantardjieff, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Science and Mathematics