Hiram College

Dear faculty, staff, and students,

I write today’s bimonthly note having just heard the latest update on Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The devastation in so many parts of the country, U.S. territories, and the world calls for awareness of and empathy for the distress that affected residents will face for years. These natural disasters, of course, coincide with disconcerting political decisions that were made this week. Together, these are the “urgent challenges” for which our Hiram mission calls us to respond. I hope it is not too far-fetched to think many of us on campus are discussing these current events (and how we might play a positive role in responding to them) as part of the yearlong theme of “citizens” that frames Hiram’s programs and pedagogies for 2017-18.

Our efforts to be informed citizens of the world start at home, here at Hiram. I send these notes out every two weeks to help keep you informed on Hiram happenings. With this note, I am pleased to announce that several renovation projects will get underway in the coming weeks. The Library project, scheduled to start on the 20th, will include a new roof, replacement siding, new windows, and the repair of the front steps. At the same time, the repaving of Terrier Drive and the East Hall parking lot will begin. We are also undertaking Phase II of the Hayden Auditorium renovation this month. As part of this phase, we will replace the windows, carpets, draperies, lighting, and stage curtains. The green room will also get a much needed facelift.

In addition to being informed citizens of Hiram College, let’s make a pledge to be engaged ones as well. Toward that end, get involved in campus activities and programs. There are several planned over the next few days. Tomorrow, there will be a three-mile campus trek that starts at the Hiram Inn at 4:25 pm, a Men’s soccer game at 7:00 pm, and Grub & Game Night from 9:00 to 11:00 pm in the Kennedy Center. On Saturday, come out and cheer on the Terriers at our first football game of the season at 3:00 pm.

Being informed and participating in community-building events are two ways to practice good citizenship. Another important way is to be aconstructive and productive citizen. To this end, we need to come together, as the close-knit community we are, and deal with issues that we may personally or collectively face from time to time. Hiram is not the kind of place where we let concerns go unchecked. If there are points of worry, confusion, or the like, let’s address them respectfully and head-on with the aim of enhancing understanding and charting a viable path forward.

Next week, we put good citizenship into practice with the Ethics Teach-In. This campus event gives a great opportunity to enact the values we espouse. Starting at noon on Thursday, September 14, faculty, staff, and students can join together for lunch and engage in conversations related to the “citizens” theme: What is a citizen? How do we determine who is a citizen? What obligations or responsibilities do citizens have today? Keep an eye out for more information regarding this important event.

There has never been a better and more necessary time to be a good citizen of the College and a good citizen of the larger world. Hiram is the perfect place to help us be both.

Your president,

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Lori Varlotta