Dear faculty, staff and students,
Although I have spent most of my summer and early fall on campus, today I write to you from the nation’s capital, where Bob Haak, Paul Bowers, Liz Okuma and I are pitching one of our new ideas, called “Hiram Collaborative,” to a group of colleges, universities and grant foundations. The experience has been an illuminating one that will prepare us for future presentations to potential donors. I feel very lucky to have this opportunity since the entire program is being generously supported by ACE (American Council on Education), which has fully funded our travel to and participation in this event.
This new idea we’re pitching – Hiram Collaborative – would provide incoming first-year students with financial support and internship opportunities from community businesses. Following graduation, these students would then be ready for careers with these sponsoring businesses, creating a win-win-win situation for the students, the College and the local businesses.
Prior to coming out to D.C., I spent a few days on the west coast where I hosted a group of alumni at a “Hiram Night Out” in San Francisco. It was wonderful meeting our College’s diverse group of alumni and discussing Hiram’s future. I also participated in the University of California, Davis Pre-Health Conference, where I presented two sessions on Hiram’s liberal arts approach to students interested in exploring health-related majors and careers. With the aid of alum Carson Applewhite ’14, we were able to share stories and successes related to Hiram’s nursing and biomedical humanities majors, Center for Literature and Medicine and other programs with many of the 8,000 students who attended the two-day conference.
On fronts closer to home, the Cabinet and I are gearing up for the year’s first full Board of Trustees meeting next week. I am sure many of you will notice a large group of VIPs on campus next Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I will let you know how the meeting goes, but I have prepared remarks that parallel much of what I have talked about in the College Assembly meetings and Town Hall forums.
Finally, I’m very excited that the TREE House, Hiram’s environmentally sustainable building and new home to the Environmental Studies Department, will have its grand opening next Friday. This is a project that has brought so many students, faculty and staff together, and I am proud to see their hard work completed for all to see.
I look forward to being back on campus soon for all of these exciting events and more.
Lori E. Varlotta