Hiram College

To the students of Hiram College,

As a college president, I do not always have the opportunity to deliver record-breaking news. But today, I do, and words can barely convey my sense of excitement, optimism, and gratitude.

I am thrilled to share with you that Hiram just received a $2.1 million gift, the largest single gift ever made to the College, from Trustee Dean Scarborough ’77 and his wife Janice Bini (please see the following link to a press release that went out moments ago). I am also happy to share that you are primary benefactors of this transformational gift.

This extraordinarily generous gift will launch a mobile technology initiative, called Tech and Trek. The first of its kind in Ohio, Tech and Trek will provide each full-time, traditional college student with iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and keyboard bundle in Fall 2017. While receiving these devices will be exciting, this initiative is not about the devices themselves. It is about using the newest mobile technology to enhance the high-quality educational experience to which you are already accustomed at Hiram.

As part of Tech and Trek, you will learn how to critically and creatively use iPad Pro as a learning tool that hones the academic, interpersonal, and reflective skills you have already started to build. I can picture this technology being a vital part of your journey at Hiram. Whether you are roaming the historic 19th-century Hiram Village, hiking the trails at the Field Station, trudging through streams and marshes collecting research samples, embarking upon a study-abroad trip, or developing workplace skills at an internship, your new iPad Pro will help you to capture and connect the ideas, feelings, images, and questions that will change your life. 

In addition to distributing mobile devices, Tech and Trek will also provide upgrades to Hiram’s wireless infrastructure, allowing us to maintain connectivity all over campus, including the green space outside the residence halls and between Hinsdale, Teachout-Price, and Frohring Performing Arts (hopefully prompting many of us to spend more time outside). This program will also upgrade many classrooms, outfitting them with the latest “smart classroom” technology. 

Tech and Trek does not end here. Once Phase One is underway, we will begin working to secure donor and foundation support to help us implement a second phase of this plan. In Phase Two, we will expand the initiative to Hiram’s full-time, non-traditional students and will issue devices to graduate students, students enrolled in Weekend College, and those pursuing completion degrees at Hiram’s community college partner sites.

Now that you’re aware of this transformational initiative, I suspect that some of you may wish to hear a little more. Others may have questions about how we will roll the program out and when you will get devices, training, and other support. With those likelihoods in mind, Dean of Students Liz Okuma and I will be hosting an open forum in the coming weeks to answer your questions and share more about this transformational initiative.

Exciting times at Hiram!              

Your president,

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Lori Varlotta