Hiram College

Dear faculty, staff, and students,

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 than 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, when our football players and other fall athletes arrived mid-month and jumped right into their preseason training. Shortly thereafter, the Student Life staff helped move new students into their residence hall rooms and Institute classes. At the same time, we held a Matriculation Convocation where first-year students officially became members of the Hiram community. In fact, they actually recited 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 name of our new School of Business & Communication – the Scarborough School of Business & Communication (additional details can be found here). It is the first of the five new schools configured as part of our redesign to be named from a philanthropic gift.

We also held an Opening Assembly where all faculty and staff came together to talk about the elements and outcomes of the New Liberal Arts (please see the draft below of our latest infographic). During the afternoon session of the assembly, the faculty-as-a-whole spent time discussing ideas for a new core curriculum.

The elements and arts of the new liberal arts

This month is similarly chock-full of noteworthy events. Next week, 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 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.

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 annual 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 lifelong academic, I always say that September is the “new year” that matters most. So, with that in mind, I wish all of you the happiest of New Years! Let’s make it the greatest one yet for Hiram College.

Your President,

President Varlotta Signature

Lori Varlotta