Founders Green Vol. 10, no. 2 : Page 1

Vol. 10 No. 2 September 2011 A Newsletter by Haverford Parents for Haverford Families www.haverford.edu/forparents/newsletter.php FROM THE INTERIM PRESIDENT IN THIS ISSUE Navigating the Transition Club Sports at Haverford: Is Crew New to You? A Familiar Face in a New Place Editor: Naomi Sacks P’08, ’13 Contributing Editors: Pamela Brownstein P’10 Michele Dickey P’10 Jill Miller DID YOU KNOW… You can find great information for parents at the online Parent Resource Center. Just visit www.haverford.edu/forparents. NEW THIS YEAR... Evergreen information includes words of wisdom from Haverford parents “who’ve been there.” Want to know what to expect on Commencement weekend? Wondering what restaurants in the area are worth a visit? Get the real scoop at www.haverford. edu/forparents/resources.php. FAMILY AND FRIENDS WEEKEND OCTOBER 28–30, 2011 Plan to join us for a fun and engaging fall weekend at Haverford. Visit www.haverford.edu/familyweekend for a full schedule of events. You can register online or via mail when you receive your brochure in early September. See you there! WRITERS WANTED Founders Green needs contributors. If you are interested in writing for this publication, please contact Parent Programs: hc-parents@haverford.edu. NEED A GOOD INVESTMENT? Invest in the Haverford experience by supporting the Parents’ Fund. Go to www.haverford.edu/makeagift or phone 1-866-GIFT-4-HC to make your gift today. From the entire Haverford community, thank you! A Privilege and an Opportunity M If there’s one thing I like more than a good plan, it’s a better plan. y plan for this fall was to re-sume the professorial life after a long sojourn in administra-tion, including over 14 years as president of Mount Holyoke College. Named a Five College Fortieth Anniver-sary Professor, I was going to teach a course at the University of Massachusetts called “Following Faulkner.” Over the summer I indulged in rereading the provocative and ever enriching novels of Faulkner as well as the fascinating works of other distinc-tive American writers who followed him: Nathanael West, Flannery O’Connor, Joyce Carol Oates and Toni Morrison. But just as I was finalizing my syllabus, I got a call inquiring about my possible inter-est in the interim presidency at Haverford. Having been in academia for over 40 years, I have long admired Haverford as indisput-ably one of the most distinguished of liberal arts colleges, with an abiding commitment to intellectual rigor and moral seriousness. So, I was flattered, of course, to be consid-ered for such an important and prestigious post, but it seemed initially impractical for me at such a late date to change plans, move household, and disrupt my fam-ily—not to mention disappoint both my new colleagues at UMass and especially the students who had signed up for my course. Joanne V. Creighton began her tenure as interim president in August 2011. And yet ... the more I thought and read and talked with the Board of Managers about the College, the more alluring the opportunity seemed. It was, after all, only a temporary change of plans—an interim year while the College searched for its 14th president. I am passionate about liberal arts education and believe that the liberal arts college, at its best, is an extraordinary environment for all who live and learn there: it’s a pearl of great price worthy of our best efforts as educators. In addition to my long tenure as president of Mount Holyoke, I had also been provost and then interim president of Wesleyan University, another fine liberal arts institution. These experiences helped me to appreciate both the complexities of culture at such institu-tions and their power when constituents— faculty, students, board, staff, alumni and continued on next page

A Privilege And An Opportunity

From The Interim President<br /> <br /> If there’s one thing I like more than a good plan, it’s a better plan.<br /> <br /> My plan for this fall was to resume the professorial life after a long sojourn in administration, including over 14 years as president of Mount Holyoke College. Named a Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor, I was going to teach a course at the University of Massachusetts called “Following Faulkner.” Over the summer I indulged in rereading the provocative and ever enriching novels of Faulkner as well as the fascinating works of other distinctive American writers who followed him: Nathanael West, Flannery O’Connor, Joyce Carol Oates and Toni Morrison.<br /> <br /> But just as I was finalizing my syllabus, I got a call inquiring about my possible interest in the interim presidency at Haverford. Having been in academia for over 40 years, I have long admired Haverford as indisputably one of the most distinguished of liberal arts colleges, with an abiding commitment to intellectual rigor and moral seriousness. So, I was flattered, of course, to be considered for such an important and prestigious post, but it seemed initially impractical for me at such a late date to change plans, move household, and disrupt my family— not to mention disappoint both my new colleagues at Umass and especially the students who had signed up for my course.<br /> <br /> And yet ... the more I thought and read and talked with the Board of Managers about the College, the more alluring the opportunity seemed. It was, after all, only a temporary change of plans—an interim year while the College searched for its 14th president. I am passionate about liberal arts education and believe that the liberal arts college, at its best, is an extraordinary environment for all who live and learn there: it’s a pearl of great price worthy of our best efforts as educators. In addition to my long tenure as president of Mount Holyoke, I had also been provost and then interim president of Wesleyan University, another fine liberal arts institution. These experiences helped me to appreciate both the complexities of culture at such institutions and their power when constituents— faculty, students, board, staff, alumni and parents—come together around abiding values, core principles and shared goals. I enjoy helping an institution realize more fully its potential, and I have learned a great deal, through on-the-job training, about how to build consensus, tend to important matters and move the institution forward.<br /> <br /> So when I received Haverford’s call to service, I simply could not refuse this incredible privilege and opportunity. My good plan—to teach Faulkner—metamorphosed into a better plan: to work with those teaching Faulkner (and so much more) to your sons and daughters, in an academic setting second to none.<br /> <br /> So much for my original plan! Then again, I have always found life to be full of serendipity. The wisdom of my decision came home to me forcefully during Customs week, when I met a number of new and continuing students and observed first-hand upperclassmen and -women passing down the impressively principled and potent Haverford ethos to first-year students. Your sons and daughters are amazing! I was deeply moved by them and by all that is Haverford. I can’t wait to get to know them and this admirable college better.<br /> <br /> Everyone here on campus has been warm and welcoming. I already feel at home, although all the packing boxes at One College Circle suggest that at-homeness is a work-in-progress. That most boxes remain unopened, though, just demonstrates how eagerly I’ve welcomed the many and often spontaneous opportunities I’ve had to get to know my new community.<br /> <br /> Thank you for trusting me and my colleagues with this most honorable of missions: the education of your sons and daughters who are destined, without a doubt, to thoughtful and purposeful engagement in the life of this community and in the larger world. I hope to see many of you on campus at Family and Friends Weekend in October.<br /> <br /> Sincerely, <br /> <br /> Joanne V. Creighton <br /> Interim President of the College

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