Over this past summer, it was my great honor to join the Converse College family as its tenth president. If you are considering Converse for your college experience, I hope we will have the opportunity to share our first year of discovery together.
This website is an excellent place to discover what makes Converse distinctive and to become inspired by our quest for “Voice. Value. Vision.” I also want to share with you the reasons I was drawn to Converse, because I believe they are many of the same reasons you will want to call Converse your own.
Converse’s mission to provide a distinctive and accessible liberal arts education for women is every bit as relevant today as it ever was. Not long ago, I participated in a forum with business leaders to discuss their workforce needs. The resounding message from all sectors and leaders echoed the plea from employers nationwide: They need people who can think critically, analyze issues, understand global context, and communicate clearly, succinctly, and persuasively. In short, they need employees with a liberal arts education.
At Converse you will be surrounded by and build connections with amazing people who are constantly exploring and expanding what they can do. The students here are bright, energetic, and engaging. I hear from them time and again how Converse helped them find their passion and their voice – how young women who were too shy to speak out in high school began to run for student government positions, start radio stations, or participate in Model programs at Converse – things some never would have imagined before.
Converse faculty members are talented, accomplished, and passionate about teaching. Students and alumnae describe them as incredible mentors whose doors are always open to help. These passionate teachers contribute not only in the classroom, but also through their research and creative endeavors, and through their service to the community.
Converse graduates love to share the impact this College had on their lives. These women are confident, intelligent, energetic – and they have high expectations. They are leaders in their communities, in their fields, and in their families. Their Converse experience provided a launch pad for shaping their futures according to their individual definitions of success – whether that may be as a lead executive for a large financial institution, an advocate for change within government, or an entrepreneur starting her own businesses.
Converse instills in her students the values of integrity, exploration, diversity, respect, community, progress, and excellence, along with a strong work ethic. In these times of rapid and disruptive change, our vision and our values must be clear. Regardless of the path we choose, these principles will guide us to our destination – enabling us to reach higher, be more innovative, and expand our horizons.
I hope to welcome you to the Converse campus soon!
Krista L. Newkirk, J.D.