Dear Hiram Friends,
What a great time of the year to live in Northeast Ohio and work on a college campus. The days are getting cooler and the setting sun casts a beautiful orange hue against the blue skies. Meanwhile, the positive buzz of a new academic year is accentuated by the optimism that comes with a clean slate. Yep, there is no other time like the beginning of the fall semester when the power of potential is palpable to all.
As is typical these days, the fall bustle actually began in August, as our football, women’s and men’s soccer, and women’s volleyball players arrived mid-month and jumped right into their preseason training. Shortly thereafter, student affairs staff helped move new students into their residence hall rooms and Institute Classes. At the same time, we held a Matriculation Convocation that kicked off the new school year. In case you aren’t aware, the Matriculation Ceremony is the event where first-year students officially become members of the Hiram community. In fact, they actually recite a pledge at this ceremony, dedicating themselves to the academic endeavors they will pursue at Hiram College. It is always a joy to watch and hear them declare their dedication out loud.
As exciting as all of that was, it wasn’t all that we did last month. During the convocation ceremony I had the proud honor of announcing the naming of our new School of Business and Communication – the Scarborough School of Business & Communication. It is the first school of the five new schools configured as part of our redesign to be named from a philanthropic gift. You will recall from my previous columns that Dean Scarborough ’77, Chair of the College’s Board of Trustees, and his wife, Janice Bini, graced Hiram with the largest gift in the College’s history: a $6 million one! The gift has been earmarked for many programs and services that will attract new students, retain upper-class students, and stimulate even further the living and learning environment at Hiram College. You can learn more about this gift and how it has served as a tremendous buttress for the emerging model, The New Liberal Arts™, at this post.
This month is similarly chock-full of noteworthy events. Today we are sponsoring our 17th annual Interdisciplinary “Teach-In” that focuses on the ethics theme of the year. This year’s theme is Technology—its development through, and its impact on human history. Obviously, the theme hits close to home. Our campus on the hill has increasingly become known as a national leader in teaching the mindful use of technology, thanks to last year’s launch of Tech and Trek™. You can read more about the use of Mindful Technology™ here and here.
The Teach-In is not our only Fall tradition. At the end of the month we will host our 10th annual Celebration of Experiential Learning and Undergraduate Research Symposium where students come together to present their research findings to classmates and faculty across campus.
As part of another tradition, we will hold the 12th the Run for Grace and Andy on Saturday, September 29. This annual event celebrates the lives of Grace Chamberlain and Andy Hopkins, first-year Hiram students killed in 2006 in a car collision caused by a drunken driver. Please learn more about this worthy event at this site.
As a life-long academic I always say that September is the “new year” that matters most. So, with that in mind, I wish all friends and alumni the happiest of New Years! Let’s make it the greatest one yet for Hiram College.
Lori E. Varlotta