Two-day celebration focuses on college's rich past, present, and future
10/25/2008 9:33:26 AM
LYNCHBURG – Randolph College celebrated its past, present, and future with the inauguration of its ninth president, John E. Klein, on Saturday, Oct. 25.
The Conway Bell rang nine times (to represent the nine presidents of the college) to signal the start of the procession to Smith Hall. A large crowd of alumnae, students, faculty, staff, dignitaries and delegates representing colleges from across the nation filled Smith Hall Theatre for the ceremony.
“This is the perfect time not only to celebrate our new leadership, but to focus on the forward momentum of Randolph College,” said Lucy Hooper ‘73, president of the Board of Trustees. “With our rich past, the solid leadership of John Klein, and our talented community, our college is embracing a successful new future. This celebration is a chance to recognize all that we are and all that we will become.”
Inaugural events on Oct. 24 and 25 spotlighted the school’s strong liberal arts curriculum, vibrant campus, and unique programs with the theme, Aspire, Explore, Achieve.
Events were fully funded through private contributions. Careful efforts were made to maintain a “green” element to the inauguration and limit the college’s impact on the environment.
The inauguration ceremonies featured student and faculty presentations of research, a production of Randolph’s Greek play, Elektra, a s’mores party for students, and college tours.
During his inaugural address, Klein focused on a vision for the future built on the strengths of the past.
“For over a century, graduates have left here with more than a degree,” Klein said. “They have left with the intelligence, the passion, the independent spirit, and the skill to make the world a better place. As we embrace our future, it is my commitment that this hallmark of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College will continue on with Randolph College.
“Our future will be bright, in large part because of our rich past,” he added. “We will send our students out into the world with a solid foundation that will do more than serve them well in their careers. The experiences that they have had and the lessons they have learned at the College will position them to be women and men of integrity and of honor. In the end, it is the people we become and the differences we make that matter."
A liberal arts education, he said, remains as relevant today as it was a hundred years ago. However, schools like Randolph must be able to balance the needs of students, and the increasing focus on career-specific programs, and the need to provide a strong curriculum that remains true to the fundamental purpose of the liberal arts.
“Today, our college still aspires to prepare students for the future, and the future is full of surprises,” Klein said. “We must look for ways to adapt to new times, while treasuring and sustaining the best of what we have been.”
Randolph’s future will include growth over time to about 1,100 students. That growth will allow the college to expand its facilities, increase its faculty and staff, and add more academic programs. What will not change is the close community spirit.
“In this small area of Virginia, tucked into the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Randolph College is a special place, blessed with great tradition and bursting with potential,” Klein said. “It is a place where students are encouraged to aspire to reach great heights, where they can explore all of the opportunities available to them, and where they can achieve their dreams. By enhancing what we do here, by pushing ourselves to become grea
CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of Communications