Alumni Magazine

A magazine for alumni and friends of Hiram College – December 2023

Image: Hiram students

Sustainability and the Environment

Initiative to lead


Hiram College has placed emphasis on sustainability for generations, but it is only in recent years that students have taken up the stride to push those efforts even further. In 2019, students across Hiram’s campus took part in a walkout during Global Week for Future, also known as the 2019 climate strike.

a note from Interim President Bohrer

Dear Hiram Friends,

Robert Bohrer

As this is one of the first opportunities to write to you in my current capacity, I wanted to start with a heartfelt “thank you” to those who have wished me well, shared with me what makes Hiram special, and offered their time and treasure to the College since I stepped into this new role on June 1. I am humbled by the groundswell of support and passion that our community feels for Hiram.

One recurrent theme that has emerged through my conversations with alums, whether they are relatively recent graduates or more seasoned professionals, is the transformational impact that Hiram had on them. For some, it was faculty taking them under their wing, for others it was having a staff member challenge them, and yet for others it was the actions of an entire community coming together during times of great disturbance in surrounding communities and around the world. These disparate experiences all tie back to connections with a caring, nurturing, and lasting community on Hiram Hill—one that lasts well beyond one’s years of attendance. Loren Pope long ago recognized this in naming Hiram one of his original Colleges that Change Lives, and despite the challenges small schools like ours face, we continue to transform the lives of our students to this day.

The theme of this edition of the Hiram Magazine is sustainability and the environment, areas where Hiram has long exercised leadership and that distinguish the College. While this theme is not new, I trust you will be encouraged by the continued evolution, both in and out of the classroom, as our community continues to find new and innovative ways to harness and protect natural resources, engage the wider community in understanding the impact of sustainability and things like tree canopy cover, and work with our community partners to enhance not only our community, but the world. I think of the range of individuals engaged in this work, from emeritus professors to first-year students, and how enmeshed these are in Hiram’s DNA. We have also become a full member of Campus Nature Rx, thanks to the efforts of Zachary Fox ’21, Hiram’s sustainability coordinator and Dr. Sarah Mabey, an associate professor of environmental studies here at the College. The organization is a coalition of over 60 colleges and universities and 89 professionals dedicated to connecting college communities with the benefits of both physical and mental well-being that come from spending time in nature.

Finally, I am pleased to report that all these good things about Hiram are evident beyond our community. We were excited to welcome an incoming class of 255 students in August while several external organizations such as U.S. News and World Report, Money Magazine, and Colleges of Distinction recognize the value of a Hiram education. As you read through this edition, I hope you share my pride in the ongoing efforts and help spread the word about the good work being done on Hiram Hill.

Thank you for your continued support of Hiram and our students,

Interim President Rob E. Bohrer II

Research has come full circle for Jessie (Lanterman) Novotny, Ph.D., adjunct professor of biology at Hiram College. The 2010 alumna of the College spent her days as a biology undergraduate student working as an animal caregiver and research assistant at the James H. Barrow Biological Field Station, which also happens to be the same place she is conducting research today on bees alongside her own students.

Innovative learning and peer mentoring experiences that empower students have always been at the heart of a Hiram College education. Proof of that concept lies in a program founded by three scientists over 15 years ago.

Hiram Village is historically home to ten public gardens. Since 1974 the gardens, located on the College’s campus and within the Village, have been maintained and run by volunteers consisting of community members, alongside faculty, staff, and students from the College, with the goal of promoting the beauty of their community.

Through the work of ABM’s landscaping group, Neil Robertson ’23, Zack Fox ’21, and the Sustainable Development Committee, what started as a staff-lead tree catalog expanded into a student-run passion project.

The success of our partnership is a function of the assets that each of us contributes. These assets range from people (effort, expertise, and ideas) to physical resources, such as our facilities and natural areas. Here, Hiram College’s academic programs (such as environmental studies, biology, and entrepreneurship) and our field stations (James H. Barrow and Northwoods) have a key role to play in catalyzing the vision of establishing Northeast Ohio as a hub for the green industries.

Research is the process of discovery. No matter the project, the researcher is doing something no one else has done before.