Dear Students of McDaniel College,
More than at any other time during my 37-year career here on the Hill, I can most relate to what the seniors are going through right now. I, too, will be “graduating” soon, stepping into the next phase of my life. A big, somewhat mysterious adventure awaits and it is at once exciting and a bit scary to contemplate. I know I am prepared to seize the opportunities that come with my retirement, thanks to all that I have learned as a member ofthis College community, and, especially, from what you students have taught me.
Your boundless curiosity, courage and compassion – even in the midst of the sometimes confusing and challenging changes that come with profound personal growth – has always inspired me. Every day, you demonstrate what it means to put the liberal arts in action: you’ve founded clubs for lovers of cheese, alternative films and skydiving; immersed yourselves in the cultures of Budapest, Cameroon, China and Italy; created haute couture out of trash; crashed records on the athletic fields, and volunteered your time and energy for an array of good causes, including a Nicaraguan clinic and the local Boys and Girls Club. You’ve proven that everything is possible when you work smart – even becoming the College’s first quadruple major, as Eric Lemmon did, with studies in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Biochemistry.
In each of my roles here, first as professor, then Graduate Dean, then Provost and, for the past decade, President, I’ve relished the chance to get to know many of you and to watch with an insider’s perspective as you set about making this campus, and the world, a better place.
I remember, during the early days of my “freshman year” as President, the moment I first realized what a wonderful neighborhood I had moved into. It was the morning I accidentally locked myself out of the President’s House. Clad only in my nightgown and bathrobe, and without a cell phone, I had no choice but to traipse across the lawn to the nearest student residence. I knocked on the door and was greeted with a smile by a wonderful student; she invited me in while she called Campus Safety, and then we shared a good laugh over the mishap.
This campus is indeed my cherished community. And membership in it is something that I – we all – will take with us. At Commencement, I will receive McDaniel’s highest form of recognition: an honorary degree that will make me a member of the Class of 20 1 0, and forever Green and Gold.
I look forward to continuing my education as I read about you, and all of your accomplishments, in the pages of The Hill magazine. Remember that there is no place like McDaniel- and that it’s all of you who make those words ring so true.