The end of my first year…
It is hard to believe that we have come to the end of my first year as Albright College’s 15th president—and what a year it’s been!
When I began my term as president I said that I would do a year of listening and learning. As of today, I have talked to close to 600 people: faculty, staff and students on Albright’s campus; alumni in the Reading region and other areas of the country; and friends of Albright in the greater Reading community. Most of these meetings have been in small groups, allowing for conversation and dialog, to help me understand the Albright College of today.
These conversations have been enormously helpful to me in myriad ways, but most importantly, they have given me an opportunity to get to know the people who are at the heart of Albright College. During a year as exciting as the one we’ve had, knowing where and how your heart beats is paramount—and Albright’s heart beats strong!
Together, this past year, we experienced national media attention surrounding our football team and our campus. We enjoyed the celebration and the Albright-wide party of inauguration. We initiated our work to develop an equitable and fully participating community, led by the President’s Council for an Inclusive, Thriving, and Equitable Community (Visit the CITE-C website: https://tinyurl.com/y75gcukp). Taylor Grayson’s poem, featured on the back cover of this issue, is one of the many creative performance and academic activities designed to engage our campus in this work.
“… knowing where and how your
heart beats is paramount—and Albright’s
heart beats strong!”
Over the year, I’ve enjoyed numerous dinners with student groups—making tacos or pizza or lasagna at the president’s house. We enjoyed the School of Professional Studies Awards Dinner, as well as the all-campus Celebration of Seniors—a festive afternoon that engaged our entire community. In this issue, Joanna McClintock ’03 shares her reflections from her SPS Honors and Awards speech on what she learned at Albright. Though the weather did not cooperate, we celebrated the achievements of our graduates at a fabulous indoor commencement in the Bollman Center, with live-streaming at multiple, comfortably dry sites across campus. Please be sure to check out the commencement highlights in this issue.
We have also learned much, as we have dialogued and worked together this past year. We have learned the immensity of the challenges, both at Albright and across higher education, that confront us. Together, we have focused our efforts on the Albright of the future, and we are doing this through our Deep Dive Planning Process, an emergent strategic planning process which engages the entire community. Among our many initiatives, we are enhancing our Affinity House options for students, which you’ll read about in this issue, and we are developing an integrated program for student employment on campus, so that our students are ready to enter the workforce from the first day after they graduate. I encourage you to check out the Albright website to stay informed about the on-going work that we are doing to move boldly into the future. Information on institutional planning can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/y9z3ramq.
I also encourage you to reach out to your Board of Trustee members, Alumni Board members or any of us at the College. Your engagement in Albright’s future is welcome!
Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D. ’82
President and Professor of Chemistry