Dear faculty, staff, and students,
Greetings from the other hill where I write on this snowy day. It seems that each November, when I visit alumni in the greater D.C. area, I bring Northeast Ohio weather with me. This is unfortunate since even the smallest traces of snow bring the capital city to a screeching halt. While I am having very productive meetings here, I hope I can get out tomorrow and return to our hill where we are more prepared to usher in the winter.
Despite the snow, this Washington visit has been a good one so far. On Tuesday, I met with almost 40 alumni. The day culminated with a grand event at the eclectic Mansion on O Street. During my meetings here, I debuted both the “I am Hiram” branding campaign (video, billboards, and radio spot) and the New Liberal Arts. Each and every time I talk about either or both, alumni break into applause, often while wiping away a tear! It is refreshing to see that support for this redesign is as strong as anyone could imagine.
The “I am Hiram” video, produced by a crew from TRG Multimedia in Cleveland and featuring only Hiram students and faculty (no outside actors), has been a smashing hit. Its finished flow and vibe wonderfully defy the monumental task it was to orchestrate the dozens of students and faculty who appeared, to take multiple shoots at myriad locations, and to make on-the-spot adjustments due to weather issues and class schedules.
Kim Holm, executive director of marketing and communications, led the overall efforts. Jeff Alberini, website manager, facilitated the shoots and led the editing process. And student Abbie Stevenson ‘19 was a tremendous help in finding student “extras” and with coordinating last-minute scheduling changes. Please thank all of them for a job exceptionally well done. It is bittersweet to thank Jeff in this note since tomorrow is his last day at Hiram. Jeff has taken a position at his alma mater, Kent State University, and their huge gain is our painful loss.
While I am thanking folks, now is the perfect time to give a loud shout out to a group of students who have been working with Jackie Crandall in the Development and Alumni Relations Office. This student caller group—several of them freshmen—has spent the last couple of weeks dialing alumni all over the country and asking them to contribute to their alma mater. The group includes Matthew Peterson ‘19, Danni McDonald ‘19, Peter Sullivan ‘20, Andrew Lang ‘21, Miricle Blackman ‘22, Delilah Stack ‘22, Taylor Cook ‘22, Jeffrey Robb ‘22, and Madison Linville ‘22; and they have brought in $100,000 over the last several days. In 10 years or so, any one of them they may be Hiram’s next Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations!
Let me end by drawing all of your attention to an artist- and-adventurer-in-residence that we will host during the coming three-week term. Daniel Dodge will bring his impressive sense of adventure (having thru-hiked both the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail) and his cool take on nature photography to Hiram. Dan will be facilitating several discussions and workshops (including a few hands-on photography workshops). I met Dan on the Pacific Crest Trail this summer, and the 24 hours we spent together was a real joy…very refreshing. All of his programs are free and open to the public. Please take advantage of an interesting visitor’s take on the notion that beauty is everywhere.
As always, there is a lot happening on our hill. I hope that Dan’s warm spirit and the cold winter air provide the refreshment we all need at this point in the year.