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MUDEC Méinden Fall 2019 #10
MUDEC Méinden Fall 2019 #10
Miami UniversityJohn E. Dolibois European Center logo
MUDEC Méinden-Weekly news from the MUDEC community for the MUDEC community-#lifelongMUDEC

Fall 2019 #10 | October 28, 2019

Äddi a Merci Crici Edition!

Happy Commencement Crici!

Like any non-American, I have been puzzled by the strange use of the word “commencement” to signify the end of a course of studies in the US. It took me some time to reflect on the fact that graduation is not a finish line. It is a moment when something new is about to commence.

It is the spirit in which I would like to celebrate the outstanding tenure of Crici Dumont with the John E. Dolibois European Center. We often say that academics are like eternal students since they never leave university. Tonight on the contrary, Crici is graduating, since she is, actually, leaving the world of academia.

Saying good bye would not quite work, especially since we have the firm hope that Crici will continue her long standing association with Miami in a new role of host mom. But it would not work also because Crici is future oriented, not nostalgic.

Of course there is a pang of sadness when I consider that our long, 10 years, close professional association has come to an end. Crici was first my housing coordinator, and then my assistant—the person who knows what I am doing and when I am doing it, often before me, and often also knows why I should do it better than I know it myself.

But as I consider the work we have done together, I am less sad than happy, and proud, because of the role that she will soon play. In her new career, Crici will continue to do what she has so well done over the years: welcoming new people to Luxembourg and make them feel at home in her great country that she loves to share.

I am proud when I think that her new experience will be nurtured by her time with us at Miami, and I am happy because 10 years ago, I personally benefited from Crici’s kindness as I was myself immigrating to take over the position of Dean of Miami University in Luxembourg. Crici is one of the many Luxembourgers who have welcomed me so warmly to the Grand Duchy.

She has extended the same warm welcome to scores of Miami students, many of them American: she has helped exactly 5,613 students find a place to live and sleep and interact with host families. 

We all know that this over five thousand people owe her more than a bed. They owe her advice, comfort, help. To some, she reminded that they are not the only ones and that we live in a community. To many during blue times of homesickness, she has shown that they were not alone, because we are a community, and she has been the soul of this community.

No soul is ever lost, as a soul is the inspiration which takes us to the many next steps that help us build our future. This is why, dear Crici, I am not saying good bye, äddi or au revoir.

I am saying: Merci villmols!
Dean Thierry Leterre
Waht's Up this week

  • Pam Archer
  • Guy Graul
  • Ryan Fennell
  • Jace and Megan (Law) Hunter
  • Christina Wheeler
  • Matt Weinkam
  • Milena Larosa
  • Carli Williams
  • Haley Georges
  • Sarah Kingsbury
  • Beth Pfohl
  • Kayla McCarthy
  • Clayton Musick

Pam Archer

Chair of the MUDEC Advisory Board
Dumonts + Pam Archer
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Crici since she was 13 years old. When I was the Student Activities Coordinator in 1982-83, I was fortunate to spend a lot of time with the entire Dumont Family. I’d be invited over for Sunday afternoons to make quetschekraut, I joined them on vacations to Port Leucate in southern France and to the Loire Valley for a week of wine tasting and château hopping. I’ve known Crici with long red hair, short red hair and no hair (when she shaved it). Over the years I’ve watched her grow and blossom into an amazing young woman, MUDEC Housing Coordinator and now mother. She’s as passionate about her MUDEC “kids” as she is about her daughter Ninelle. Even though she is leaving MUDEC, it will always be a part of her. And she will be a major part of hundreds of students’ memories of MUDEC. Crici will always be “my little “mondkallef” and I wish her all the best in this next chapter of her life.
Crici and her mom at Thanksgiving Crici at Christmas Crici and Lakos's at Thanksgiving

Guy Graul

Host Family
Guy Graul with Crici
"Something good in everything you see. cd"
Dear Crici, 
Meng béscht Gléckwënsch bei Geleeënheet vun Denger berufflecher Neiorientéierung an e grousse, grousse Merci fir alles wat s Du fir eis, Gaaschtfamillen an Houseguests bei MUDEC an de läschte Jore geleescht hues. Ët ass iwwerhaapt nët a Wierder ze faassen, waat d’Miami Déifferdeng Dir ze ver-danken huet. Deng villfälteg, breetgefächert Kompetenzen, Deng Mënschefrëndlechkeet a Mënschekenntnis, Deng Energie, Deng Begeeschterung, Deng Häerzlechkeet, Deng Generositéit an Toleranz, Deng Ecken a Kanten … déi Dir sonner Zweifel bei Dengen zukünftegen Défiën zugutt komme wäerten, bleiwen eis all a gudder Erënnerung a mir wäerte voller Nostalgie bei zukünftegen Events dovu schwätzen, wéi a wou’s Du Dëch bei desem oder deem positionnéiert häss.  
Guy Graul, Gaaschtfamill zanter 1997
Guy, Crici and the Gelle Fra Crici at her desk

Ryan Fennell

MUDEC 2005
Like so many of us, I met Crici just off the plane, having flown all night. What an absolute burst of enthusiasm to welcome us to Luxembourg! She made the time at MUDEC amazing, and I'm grateful that we've stayed in touch after graduation. 
My favorite Crici memory, and one which still makes me chuckle, is on language. As a French major in Europe for the very first time, I was eager to practice with anyone who would bear it. Crici was always very patient (including with my broken attempts at Luxembourgish), and very polite about offering corrections. After about the first week, she quietly pulled me aside to say, "Ryan, it's merci beaucoup. You're unintentionally saying merci beau-cul ('nice derrière')." Needless to say, I was both embarrassed (no pun intended!) and grateful, and I still chuckle when I express my sincere thanks to anyone. All the very best for the next stage in your adventure, Crici and Ninelle, and merci... villmols!"

Ryan Fennell
MUDEC 2005

Jace and Megan (Law) Hunter

MUDEC Spring 2006
Jace and Meg Hunter
Thank you for all you’ve done to support MUDEC over the years. Your impact has been far reaching and your presence will be missed around the Château. You will forever be a part of the MUDEC community.
We wish you all the best as you start the next chapter of your journey closer to Lux City!!

Jace Hunter and Megan (Law) Hunter

Christina Wheeler

MUDEC Spring 2006
Christina Wheeler
I’ll never forget Crici with her basket and her brightly colored stockings. My dad will never forget her either. Being the first child, I had to break my parents in and going away to Luxembourg was tough for them. My dad would sometimes call the school asking where I was (he claims I stopped calling him) and Crici would always patiently reassure him that I was alive and well. Being in Luxembourg was very much outside of my comfort zone and Crici was always the light-hearted, caring, and consistent figure that I needed. She was always available to talk to me (in English or French) and she always had a way of lifting my spirit. Crici, I wish you bundles of joy and good luck. I know you will positively touch people no matter where you are! P.S. My dad says good luck too!
Best wishes,
Christina Wheeler (class of Spring 2006)

Matt Weinkam

MUDEC Spring 2008
Let us now praise Crici Dumont. 

Praise her laugh. Praise her smile. Praise the warmth with which she welcomed us to Luxembourg. Praise her calming patience that first jetlagged day as we waited nervously for our host families to arrive, and praise the excited shout she gave when they arrived, the way she guided us towards them on a current of enthusiasm that eased the initial awkwardness of the first handshake. We were unaware of the time and effort and emails and phone calls that went into that first meeting, unaware that whatever bond we forged with our host parents over the course of a semester or a year was thanks to her work. Let us praise Crici for it. 

Praise Crici’s kind eyes. Praise her ability to listen with her whole body as we asked an awkward question or raised a cultural concern or came to her sobbing with homesickness. In the hardest days, she was our home. 

Praise her problem solving. Praise her logistical wizardry, always thinking a semester or more ahead. Praise her for making MUDEC run all these years without thanks, without many of us even noticing. Let us notice now. Let us give thanks. 

Every student who passed through MUDEC had a bed because of Crici. Every host family who had a student or two—it was her doing. There were hundreds of us. Thousands maybe. Think of the effect she had, individually but also as a whole. How many lives changed? Whenever a host parent became a real parent, whenever a student became a son or daughter, whenever the chasms of age and culture and language were bridged, whenever and wherever that holy transfiguration occurred when strangers become family—somewhere at the beginning was Crici. 

They don’t sing songs about housing coordinators, but they should about Crici Dumont. Let us sing her song now. Praise her work ethic. Praise her joy. Praise her smile—we’ve praised it once already, but let us praise it again. What a smile it is. 

And praise her heart. The heart of MUDEC. She may be moving on to a new job now, but she remains with us no matter where we are.  

Let us praise Crici Dumont. Home to us all. 

Matt Weinkam (MUDEC Spring 2008)

Milena Larosa

Host Family
Heimadder wollt ech iech soen dass et eis Leed deet dass Madame Crici fortgeet. Zumools mat menger Mamm wuar se emmer a Kontakt, an emmer sou positif a frendlech am Telefon sou wei perseinlech. An de Fester haat sie emmer e leift Wuerd. Mir hun eis emmer gefreet zesummen mat der ganzer Famill an de Barbecue de Bienvenue ze kommen. Sie as sou wuarmherzech dass een sech gudd mat hir fillt. Sie huet och konnten mat mengem Meedchen Luana iwwert Internet an Gefoer schwetzen.
Larosa Milena a Famill.

Carli Williams

Spring 2013
Crici and Carli
As I sat down to think about what I could write to celebrate Crici and the contribution and impact she’s made, I found difficulty starting. Crici is such a unique woman who gives so much of her heart and soul to every person she meets. Her spirit, essence and personality are so easy to know, yet so difficult to define. From the moment I met Crici, I knew that she was someone special. Crici has this wonderful mix of a warm smile that can make anyone feel at home, a strong passion for everything she does, and the organization and knowledge to form a cohesive, enjoyable team atmosphere for projects and coordination efforts. Her ability to juggle relationships with hundreds of MUDEC families and community members, complete the “legal” process for students from start to finish, provide informal advice and guidance, assist in weekly projects… and this is only on the professional side. Somehow, this incredible woman still manages to know every person in Luxembourg and have an incredible relationship with her family. Through it all, she stays true to her identity, values, and goals and shares her optimism and positivity with everyone she meets. She, I believe, is incredibly remarkable.  

Recognizing her unique leadership style and way of work, I decided to interview Crici for a leadership project focused on gaining different perspectives of leadership across demographics, cultures, and workplaces. I had seen Crici “in action” and greatly admired her leadership style. I will never forget that when I asked to interview her, she was incredibly humble and didn’t even consider herself a leader. She just believed that she did whatever was necessary to make things happen and to bring people together, all united by a purpose and values. Humble as she may be, Crici is one of the most genuine leaders I’ve had the chance to meet and know. This interview, I believe was a great window into what makes Crici such a unique leader and member of the MUDEC family. 

In this interview, I had the opportunity to learn even more about Crici’s familial connection to MUDEC. I loved hearing her fond memories and stories about her childhood growing up around the MUEC/MUDEC family. She told me that when she was twelve years old, she helped out at the host family reception at the beginning of the semester and also helped her mother prepare arrival packets for students before the beginning of the semester. As she began to build her own family, it is not uncommon to see now three generations of MUDEC woman conversing at host family BBQs and helping prepare for the exciting arrival days. 

Further in the interview, Crici spoke about leadership qualities and noted a foundation built on empathetic and inclusive qualities. She recognized the importance of being open, encompassing, and welcoming everybody into her world on a constant basis. “Whoever knocks on the door, you should say ‘yes’ and be a gracious host”. That’s just the kind of woman Crici is. 

Crici has a unique ability to create community wherever she is, making everyone feel included, welcome, and at home. From bringing together people in her local community through her own book sharing initiative to taking the extra time to check in on students (even when she has many other things to get done) to getting to know each and every faculty and staff member on a personal basis. A few years ago, Crici stayed at the chateau after “working hours” to share a part of Luxembourg with the students. She brought the ingredients for some of her favorite Luxembourgish foods including kniddelen and a fabulous pea and mint soup. During the evening, we all came together to cook a delicious local meal and share conversation. As is the case in so much of what Crici does, she may not have realized the impact she had through this night of cooking and culture sharing. However, I’m sure this is an evening of giving and sharing is one that I and many others will count in what made Luxembourg feel like home. Not only does she create this type of environment, but her attitude, joy, and passion inspires others to do so too. 

She has a way of making every person feel loved and cared for in such a unique way. Crici has been so much more than simply a “housing coordinator”. She’s been at the very heart of what makes the MUDEC program so unique, at the core of allowing every student to call Luxembourg “home”, and the spark of so many smiles, laughter, and moments of joy. Her mix of strength, courage, and leadership with humility, genuine care, balance, values, and positivity is truly incredible. 

“Villmols merci” Crici for your beautiful impact on the MUDEC family: for our countless conversations, for your nuggets of wisdom, for your constant positivity, for your encouragement and strength, for your humility, for your smile and wonderful laughter, for your dedication and passion, for your unwavering values, for your commitment to those you care about, for your stories, for your “above and beyond” attitude, for your leadership. May this next step be one filled with joy, laughter, and beautiful new adventures. You are truly the most incredible woman- don’t ever forget that. 

With my most sincere gratitude and wishes,
Carli Williams
Crici and Carli wand fighting Crici and Carli Crici, Carli and Stephanie

Haley George

MUDEC Spring 2018 
My name is Haley George, and I had the privilege of being Circi's most recent 'adopted' host student. When I was preparing to go to Luxembourg in the Spring of 2018, I learned that the host family I was assigned had moved, and I was essentially homeless. I emailed Crici, who immediately welcomed me into her home and her family. My experience in Luxembourg was enhanced greatly by having the opportunity to live with Crici and Ninelle. They both were so welcoming; inviting me to share dinners with them, allowing me to get to know their family and friends, Ninelle asking me to play with her- I truly became an honorary Dumont for the semester. Leaving Luxembourg, I felt like I had gained more than a positive host family experience, I had lifelong friends in both Crici and Ninelle. 
Crici has been a fixture of the Château community for years, and her influence has positively shaped the experiences of hundreds of MUDECers every single semester. She will be greatly missed, and her influence and legacy will be remembered by so many Miami students. 
Best of luck Crici in your new career, I know you will do great!

Sarah Kingsbury

MUDEC Spring 2018
MUS Study Picture
My name is Sarah Kingsbury, and I was a part of the Spring 2018 MUDEC class; my younger sister will be a member of the Spring 2020 MUDEC class, and I'm so disappointed that she will not have Crici as her housing coordinator! Crici was one of the most valuable people in the MUDEC family, and I remember her on our MUS 189 study tour of Italy as being one of the most wonderful people to have as a leader :). She had the best knack for matching roommates, and I am so blessed that she gave me both the roommate and host family that she did. She has a gift for helping others, and I am so grateful she was my housing coordinator.  

I hope she will still stop by the chateau from time to time, as I can't picture her office without her in it (usually reminding us to get our TB tests and residency permits done!!). We love Crici! 

(For the above picture, I think she was actually the one taking this picture, but our whole music class loved her!)

Beth Pfohl

MUDEC Fall 2018
Crici Harry Potter picture
It’s odd, but I can’t imagine the chateau without the sound of Crici’s laugh. It’s one of those laughs which makes everyone smile, even if you didn’t hear the original joke. Crici played such a role in bringing joy to our home away from home, of course in addition to all the other important jobs she held. Thank you Crici for caring about each and every one of us and for sharing your passion with us. Our experiences in Luxembourg wouldn’t have been the same without you, but we know you will spread the same joy and passion wherever you go!

Kayla McCarthy

MUDEC Fall 2018
Crici in a Harry Potter picture
Crici was a rock for me in MUDEC. When I was stressed out about living in a new country and not being home for events happening in the states, she welcomed me into her office and helped me find a way to cope with the anxiety which changed my entire experience in the 2 weeks I spent time with her. She is a delight and a shining beacon for the program and a great mother to both her daughter AND all of her MUDEC children. I plan to visit Luxembourg in the next few years and she is top of my list (along with my host mom to visit when I return.Thank you Crici for making my MUDEC experience the greatest it could have been. 

Clayton Musick

MUDEC Spring 2019
Clayton Musick
I am glad that, in my academic career, I was able to have someone like Crici in my school. I trusted Crici, because she was a voice of confidence, knowledge, and determination. I would often think, while being in Luxembourg, that we were lucky to have someone so passionate helping us to integrate into Luxembourg. I loved on the first day, that Crici welcomed me joyously, and said: "you must be Clayton." I already felt like we knew each other, like we could joke around with each other. MUDEC in general had that warmth, and Crici was a representation of concerned, effective, and loving leadership which is needed in the world. 
I loved that first walk, going to meet my host family, when she directed me to walk right up the street and I would be there. And towards the end of my time at MUDEC, I found that she was a voice of encouragement that I needed. She wanted me to continue to play music in the future, and said that she would miss me playing at the Chateau. I don't always know what to do in my pursuit of music-- and to remember the support that I have from Crici, from days and days playing the harmonium and keyboard and piano and guitar, is so much to me. Thank you, Crici. I'm so glad that you were there for us. I hope your future is full of the greatest joy. You were a pleasure to be around, a genuine soul, and a pivotal part of my experience of growth as a person. 


Wishing a very Happy Birthday every year to:
Crici and Carli Dancing
Crici Dumont- February 18th 
Celebrate in style every year!
This week's schedule

Monday-Thursday: No Classes

Friday: All Saints Day, Château Closed

Château & Administrative Hours

Château Hours

Monday-Thursday: 8:00-17:00 Friday: Closed
Saturday- Sunday: Closed

Administrative Hours

Monday-Thursday: 8:00-12:00 and 13:00-17:00

Friday: Closed

Crici Through the Years

Crici at the Podium Crici at the table
Crici and her mom Crici close-up
Crici dancing Crici and a statue
Crici in the woods Staff picture

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