Hiram College

Dear faculty, staff, and students,

As we approach week five of the Spring twelve-week, I write with fundraising milestones, updates from the winter Board of Trustees meeting, and reminders of upcoming meetings and events.

Very late in December, I was thrilled to open envelopes that were stuffed with remarkable year-end gifts. The Frohring Foundation sent me a letter, accepting a proposal to support faculty research at the James H. Barrow Biological Field Station, part-time stewards, student field interns, and state-of-the-art technological updates to the Field Station. Once again, this foundation provides unparalleled support to this college treasure. At the same time, alumni Kevin ‘74 and Kristin McMahon ‘74 sent news that they accepted a proposal to provide the technological upgrades to Bonnie Castle, Pendleton House, and Mahan House. In a few months, faculty and staff will be able to use their iPad Pro devices and related technologies in those important century homes. We also received the wonderful news that Bob and Maggie Watson have made a gift to create a new music Mac Lab in Frohring Music Hall. We are honored to name this space the John M. Watson Music Laboratory after their late son.

More recently, last week in fact, almost 30 Trustees converged on campus, making their way from cities and towns throughout the country. As always, the Trustees were highly engaged in various programs during the three-day meeting, including an opening session on Thursday with nearly 35 faculty and a Friday night “treat” with 6 student presenters. By all accounts, the student session was the highlight of the meeting, as it reminded us of why we are here at Hiram. I send a warm thank you to Mark Sobnosky ‘18, Jenni Heid ‘18, Becca Pochedly ‘18, Norah Ali ‘20, Javon Alexander ‘18, and Liz Keller ‘19 for delivering informative and polished presentations that made Trustees and Cabinet members proud.

Another highlight of the meeting was the Board approval of all recommendations I brought to them regarding faculty promotions. In this vein, it gives me tremendous pleasure to announce three promotions from Assistant to Associate Professor with tenure for: Jugdep Chima (Political Science), Jennifer Clark (Biology), and Merose Hwang (History). In addition, the Board also voted to approve tenure for Associate Professor Brian Knettle (Chemistry). Please join me in congratulating these faculty members for their hard work and contributions to the College.

As the week draws to a close, I remind faculty and staff that the winter College Assembly is scheduled for tomorrow, February 2 in the Kennedy Center Ballroom. Later that day, there will be an art opening and artist lecture by alumnus Dale A Goode ‘72. News on the art exhibition can be found here. All members of the community are invited.

For students reading this week’s update, please know that your Student Senate Officers have invited me to attend the Tuesday night Senate meeting on February 13 at 7:30 pm in East Hall. I will provide an update on the College’s Strategic Plan and answer questions that Senators and their guests pose.

Hitting ambitious fundraising milestones, thanking generous donors, and sharing information in collegial and informative ways make cold days in February a little warmer.

Your president,


Lori E. Varlotta