Now more than ever we are heeding the clarion charge of our founder, Dexter Edgar Converse, as we proudly stand together and resolve that WE WILL for Converse. Our guiding principles to see clearly, decide wisely, and act justly have taken on new energy and meaning this year as our campus experienced unexpected tragedy with the loss of President Barker and unprecedented transformation alongside positive new growth.
Our campus has been heartbroken by Dr. Barker’s unthinkable loss and we feel his absence daily as we work to honor his legacy by enacting his vision for a stronger, more impactful University. Dr. Barker had big dreams for us and I am proud to have the opportunity to carry those dreams forward for Converse. With a heavy heart, clear-eyed determination, and a personal commitment to our success, I find myself unexpectedly in the President’s office this fall.
Each morning as I walk into the office, I am surrounded by our rich history and traditions along with my own personal memories of my experiences with past Converse leaders. I think about my interview with President Fleming and the enthusiasm and vision she shared with me as I first began to learn of the special magic of this place. We will need that optimism and vitality as we tell the remarkable story of Converse. I look at the wooden conference table and I think of the student support strategy sessions that I shared with President Newkirk and then Provost Barker. We will need that creativity and student-centered ingenuity as we drive our city and region vibrantly forward through community partnerships and the strength of our excellent academic programs. We will further need to embrace our tradition of tenacity and resilience as we hold fast to the history and mission of a Converse that firmly believes that rich educational experiences should be open to all.
Converse is more than beautiful grounds and historic buildings. We are made of the bonds that we share and our ultimate goal for this year is to strengthen those bonds with students and alumni as we build vital bridges between our extraordinary past and our vibrant future. I am deeply honored to be able to support a place that I love so much during this challenging time and I know our leadership team, faculty, and staff are committed to our enduring success.
I am so excited to build our connection with you over the coming year and to get to know more about your Converse story. As we continue to focus on a future set forth by the trailblazers of our past, please know that your voice and vision for our beloved Converse is central to our success. Through the unexpected joys and pain, we will remain forever Converse.
Together, WE WILL.