Dear faculty, staff and students,
These last two weeks have reminded me why fall was my favorite season as a young girl growing up in the Mid-Atlantic. I think few things top the deep blue skies, the crisp air and the changing colors that vividly mark this time of year. Couple these perks of the season with the festivities of Hiram’s fall semester – Homecoming, Campus Day, Alumni Volunteer Day, athletic competitions and the student research symposium – and you really can’t beat it.
In addition to enjoying these festive activities, I am pleased to say I have continued to log many “firsts.” Last week, Ken Moore, chairman of the Board of Trustees, and I co-facilitated my first meeting of the executive committee of the Board of Trustees. I spoke frankly about our opportunities and our challenges, and just about all of those present appreciated my direct, no-nonsense approach. I think it is very important to let you know that this Board of Trustees is highly engaged with and supportive of the College.
In this same two-week period, I also met with the Board of Visitors and the Alumni Executive Board. I introduced these groups to the four initiatives we are trying to shape at this time: Hiram Start, Hiram Connect, Hiram Complete and Hiram Health. They, too, are squarely on board with these ideas. If, by the way, anyone reading this note is not familiar with these initiatives and wishes to learn more, please drop my assistant Phil Eaves (firstname.lastname@example.org) a note. He will gladly send you a one-page description of each of the emerging programs.
As I end this week, please know I have whole-heartedly appreciated the notes and memos that many of you have sent me. Some of you have offered your “Magic of Hiram” stories, others have offered keen insights on how we can continue to make great strides for the future, and still others have simply jotted notes of welcome. I value this feedback. To create a healthy and productive culture, all members of the community must be able to speak honestly to each other and to the leaders with whom they are working. I think we are off to a great start in this regard. I look forward to continuing these strides by engaging in a meaningful conversation with faculty and staff this afternoon at the town hall forum. I hope to see many of you there at 4:15.
Lori E. Varlotta