This year’s Cornerstone Week will forever stand out in my memory. We kicked off with Honors Day and the Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research, where I was honored to welcome Dr. David Pritchard as our keynote speaker. (Dr. Pritchard, who mentored my doctoral work at MIT, is renowned in the field of atomic physics.) We ended the week on a high note, with a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Science Center and a celebration launching our Brilliant Future Campaign. I was able to announce at that evening celebration that we have nearly $40 million in gifts and commitments for the $150 million Campaign.
It was an engaging and gratifying series of events from beginning to end.
I’m deeply honored to be part of the life of this amazing College, and I hope you feel the same. Whenever we gather to celebrate the achievements of our distinctive community, it becomes abundantly clear that together we’re preparing students to build a Brilliant Future—both for their own success and for the betterment of our community, our nation and our world.
That’s why our seven-year Brilliant Future Campaign is—and must be—truly comprehensive. Why the theme Brilliant Future? Since I began my position as president, I’ve been inspired by the words of Augustine A. Smith, the College’s first president. “This Institution shall be a great moral lighthouse sending out a clear and steady light upon all subjects that pertain to the well-being of mankind.” That quote always leads me to reflect on the brilliance of our students, our faculty and our alumni, and the bright future ahead for this institution.
As you’ll learn in the pages that follow, the Campaign will touch the lives of every student in every department. We’ll endow 10 more faculty chairs and numerous scholarships. We’ll enhance current academic programs and create new ones. We’ll renovate and reconfigure offices and classrooms throughout campus.
And at the heart of the Campaign stands a brilliant new Science Center. This will be centered on student success and collaborative and interdisciplinary learning. It will set in motion the right-sizing of the entire campus by providing classroom, lab and gathering spaces for every discipline. It will equip science students to take their research to the next level as they prepare for graduate school and STEM-related professions.
And it will give students of all majors more opportunities to engage with and appreciate scientific thought and analysis—wherever their careers ultimately take them.