I recently sent this message to our on-campus community and wanted to share it with readers of this blog. I especially want to express my gratitude and best wishes to alumni and parent readers. We may not always agree on specific policy questions, but I know that the passionate interest of our off-campus Wesleyans is an affirmation of their devotion to this very special place. This commitment to ensuring that Wesleyan is at the forefront of progressive liberal education inspires all of us who work here. In the words of the alma mater: “Time ne’er shall shake our deep devotion, Our deathless love for Wesleyan!”
Before the horrific events in Newtown, I composed a year-end message to our community of hope and gratitude and joy. The sadness we now feel does not invalidate that message – for sadness is not the opposite of joy; indifference is the opposite of joy. And ours is not an indifferent community.
In so many ways this has been an extraordinary year, and as it draws to a close I want to express my gratitude to the entire Wesleyan family for their many contributions to making our university the dynamic, compassionate place it is. Thinking back to the warm welcome our athletes gave the new students on move-in day, I’m reminded also of their dedication and competitive spirit. I reflect on the startling art experiences that were part of the year, pushing deeply into the experimental and the traditional by turns. And have you looked at the faculty bookshelf lately? You’ll find there explorations of the biological dimensions of mental illness, and of lynching in American culture… studies of missionaries and mission statements, poetry and biographical triptychs. The scholars who produced this work are also spirited teachers who inspire students every week of the semester. Speaking of inspiration, I am continually awed by the contributions of the Wesleyan staff, who make all these achievements possible. The hard work of our staff, from reading admission files to planning graduation events, is at the heart of all we do.
The Board of Trustees, representing alumni, parents and students, continues to guide the institution with affection, intelligence and generosity. The trustees and the entire Wesleyan family are dedicated to ensuring that our university remains at the forefront of progressive liberal arts education. I am grateful for being part of this team.
With best wishes for a restful break, a joyful holiday and a very happy new year,