Hiram College

Dear faculty, staff, and students,

Greetings during Week Four when the rhythms of the semester have been somewhat consistent and we all have a feel for how a Hiram life moves during this time of the year.

Every fall, we host the Homecoming celebrations and this year the game is a bit early: Saturday, September 29th. That day and the week leading up to it are always jam-packed with activities, and you can see the full schedule here. You will probably not be able to participate in all of the happenings, but as a Hiram Terrier, I hope you will choose at least a couple so that you can be a part of the festivities. As you make your way around campus on Saturday, please be sure to stop and talk with the many alumni who will be roaming the campus on that day. They love interacting with current students and the campus community.

Activities start early on Saturday with the morning’s Run for Grace and Andy, and they continue through the afternoon with athletics competitions galore. Cheer on any one or all of our Terrier teams as several of them host our opponents here that day: men’s and women’s soccer, football, and women’s volleyball. And speaking of women’s volleyball, wow are they on fire this fall. Coach Kyle Mars, in his first season with this team, and assistant coaches Brittany Dye and Adam Hamad are a powerful trio shaping and sharpening talent on the court. And we have talent! Let’s cheer these women against Denison at Homecoming.

For anyone who enjoys a hot toddy during Northeast Ohio’s cold winters or just has a hankering for understanding how real-life spirits are concocted, I recommend you stop by the East Hall Forum this coming Wednesday. On September 26th at 7 pm, you can catch the Fireside Chat led by Tom Lix, CEO of Cleveland Whiskey. These chats are scheduled almost every Wednesday evening during the fall semester (the schedule can be found here). All of them showcase creative entrepreneurs, the businesses they have launched, and the journeys on which they have embarked. This next chat, “Applying 21st Century Technology to a Centuries Old Process,” sounds like a perfect analogy to the New Liberal Arts where classic and contemporary offerings come together to provide students with a perfect blend (of classes, rather than grains in this case).

The early fall has major significance for our our Jewish and Muslim friends and colleagues. This year’s Rosh Hashanah, the two-day celebration of the Jewish New Year, began on September 9th and the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, began on September 18th. This evening will mark the beginning of Ashura, a holiday celebrated and commemorated by Shias, Sunnis, and other ethnic and religious communities.

I end this note with an explicit nod to Wikipedia as an educational source. Yes, I said that.

I know that many reading this note eschew Wikipedia. I did, too. I have long viewed it as a populist information channel and, by extension, one that lacked a “proper” vetting and review process. After being introduced to insights of the Tech and Trek keynote speaker, Alan November, I have reconsidered some of my fundamental assumptions regarding what kind of sources count as reliable, useful, and worthy. In this day and age, Wikipedia might be one of the most powerful platforms for sharing diverse perspectives rather than for solidifying uniform ones. I am not exactly sure how or where I stand on 21st-century mechanisms for information creation and dissemination, but I know that we must explore topics at places like Hiram. Let’s find ways to do just that.

Your President,

President Varlotta Signature

Lori Varlotta