My first visit to New College was for President O’Shea’s inauguration in February 2013. I arrived on campus in the afternoon, walked to the Bayfront and my jaw dropped at the breathtaking scene: the stately Cook and College Halls, the beautiful view, elegant white tent, lively students and the strong feeling that this was a community.
President O’Shea and I were colleagues at another liberal arts college and we had kept in touch. He shared stories of the smart faculty, bright and inquisitive students and the rigorous education. It was clear he was passionate about New College and I enjoyed hearing about the powerful education available to its students.
Two years later, I, too, am part of the New College community. I have had the chance to meet a number of alumni who have regaled me with their stories of what it was like in the early years – the Blue Goose, the adventures of being the first students in the ’60s, pioneers of a different kind of education – and younger alums who have similar stories of mischief, camaraderie and encouraged to learn and studying a discipline because of one’s desire to know more.
The faculty members I have met clearly have the same ethos: learning for the love of it; working with students to help them discover and succeed. And the staff care deeply about the faculty, students and their colleagues. I met many new first years and their families during orientation. This thread is common among all: an intellectual curiosity, the desire to learn and go all-in; to be part of this vibrant and caring community.
The Foundation’s mission is to support New College’s needs, and our highest priorities are securing scholarships and faculty support. I am working with the Foundation Board members and colleagues to implement strategies that will attract funding for those areas.
I am excited to be part of New College, and I look forward to working with you to help strengthen the financial support for our talented faculty and students.