Dear students, faculty, and staff,
Let me begin this week’s note with a hearty congratulations to our December graduates. This year, we piloted a mid-year commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 14 to officially recognize those who finished their degree programs in the fall rather than the spring. Photos of the event can be seen on the College’s flickr page. Thank you to the small team of staff who worked hard to add this event to the calendar, as well as the faculty who marched and Trustee Don Kaatz for his commencement address. The day was a special one for all involved.
As the Fall 2019 fall semester winds down and we get ready to enjoy time with friends and families, let me give you a quick preview of the many exciting things that lie ahead in the coming weeks and months. Before the Spring semester officially begins, I send best wishes to a few athletics teams—namely the men’s and women’s basketball teams, men’s volleyball team, and the swimming team (who is on a training trip at the moment). To these athletes, I wish safe travels and excellent performances these next three weeks.
And once the semester begins, we can all look forward to coming together for several activities during the winter months. Two favorites include the return of Bread and Soup (starting January 16) and the Intercultural Forum dinner and show (February 29). Later this spring, we will welcome high school students to campus for an open house (March 28) as well as several overnight events for admitted students.
In early March, our entire campus will welcome a peer team of faculty and administrators visiting us on behalf of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). This team will be on campus on March 2 and 3 as part of Hiram’s ten-year re-accreditation review. This is one of the most important processes colleges and universities undertake, and members of the community will continue to be invited to participate in activities related to this visit. As part of the next round of participation, students will receive a survey at the start of the spring 12-week as a mechanism for capturing your input. Around the same time, faculty and staff will be asked to review the Assurance Argument that many of us have been writing over the course of the last several months. That report will be available shortly after our return to campus, and I ask all of you to take the time to read it carefully.
Before we close up for the semester break—a nice long one for many of us—I wanted to wish you all the best of the season. No matter how you celebrate the holidays or ring in the new year and the next decade, I hope a sense of peace, love, and joy is part of what you feel and part of what you are able to send back out to the world.
With warm wishes for a safe, happy, and healthy season,