Hiram College

Dear faculty, staff, and students,

varlottaI am not one who typically wishes my days away as I know how precious time is, but I have spent much of my first winter in Northeast Ohio counting down the days to the spring equinox. Thankfully, from my perspective, we are getting closer – 22 days away to be exact. I know that the frigid weather has been a concern to many of you this month. To provide some answers to the questions we have been receiving, I did post a short notice on our website that explains how we make decisions about operating the campus in extreme weather. If you missed, it you can find the note here.

Last week I thought I might escape the weather for 36 hours for a trip to Washington, D.C. I had the good fortune to accompany a small group of Hiram alumni, faculty and recent Garfield Scholars to a dinner with General David Petraeus in the capital city. Thanks, in large part to Professor James Thompson and the Garfield Center for Public Leadership, our Hiram College delegation enjoyed a long dinner conversation with the general last Friday night. It was invigorating to be a part of a small group who engaged the four-star general and former director of the CIA about myriad issues from trade, to immigration, and to politics. The evening’s activities also gave me the opportunity to connect with Hiram supporters who have been very generous in contributing to the College. As you can imagine, it is important to maintain and strengthen such relationships. As a side note: Our short trip was extended as area airports cancelled most of their flights amidst the falling snow.

 Still speaking of falling snow, cold weather and College support, I drove up to Cleveland last Thursday (during another sub-zero day) with Christine Kohls, executive director for corporate, foundation and government relations, to meet with staff at the Cleveland Foundation. We pitched our Hiram Collaborative idea in hopes that the foundation might be interested in helping to fund it. After an hour-long presentation, we received constructive feedback on the emerging initiative. We are now in the midst of revising our request and submitting a new proposal for a planning grant so that we might secure the resources necessary to move forward with the concept phase of this initiative.

As you can see, like many of you, I have been hard at work trying to identify the type of external resources that are helpful to colleges like Hiram. Our collective efforts in this areas are literally paying off, so I encourage you all to continue work in this area.

Your president,

Lori E. Varlotta