New President, New School Year

From  right, President Dr. Roger Casey, his wife Robyn Allers, and family cat Little.

From right, President Dr. Roger Casey, his wife Robyn Allers, and family cat Little.

Dr. Roger Casey


My name is Roger Casey. Along with my wife, Robyn Allers, and our entire faculty and staff, I’d like to say, “Welcome home, returning students, and welcome to McDaniel, first-years.” When I walk the Hill, you’ll see me proudly wearing a green button that says, “I am McDaniel.” I hope you will wear one, too. Collectively, we are all McDaniel College, and I am delighted to begin this academic year as McDaniel’s ninth President.

What’s so great about McD? We’re one of only forty Colleges That Change Lives, and we do so through our personalized interdisciplinary curriculum (The McDaniel Plan) and phenomenal faculty-student collaborations in teaching, research, advising, and even crab-eating. Our diverse community is engaged in hundreds of opportunities. In fact, we’re ranked as one of the Top Ten colleges in community service. Anyone can get involved in the arts at McDaniel. We host a nationally renowned folk-arts festival, Common Ground on the Hill. Innovative January courses take students to Spain, China, Cameroon, Belize, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Japan, Turkey, Greece . . . . Want more internationalization? Then study all year at our European campus, the only American university in Budapest, Hungary. We believe in environmental sustainability. Even our mascot is green! And speaking of The Green: where else can you tailgate in a drive- in stadium? Finally, location, location, location: we’re an hour or less from Baltimore, DC, PA, WV, VA, the Chesapeake, Amtrak, and the global connections of BWI. And yet you won’t be fighting rush-hour traffic to get to class. So if four years aren’t enough here, stay and get a masters from one of twenty programs.

See what a privilege it is to say, “I am McDaniel.” In just my first week here, I encountered alumni who have argued before the Supreme Court, had books written about them, taught as an endowed professor at Harvard, conducted cutting-edge biomedical research, started Fortune 500 corporations, and won a Pulitzer Prize. That was Week One. Couple such alumni with the amazing accomplishments of our student-centered faculty and staff and your own impressive achievements and it’s easy to understand: 1) Why we have all chosen to be part of this phenomenal college, and 2) Why I am deeply honored to serve as your new president.

I’ve been asking many different people hard questions to gain a clearer understanding of our collective vision for McDaniel’s future. So when you see me, stop me and tell me yours. Two goals are already clearly important to me: 1) Improving the image and reputation of McDaniel, and 2) Enhancing the quality of student life, especially our residential and student-life facilities.

When it comes to the first goal, you can help profoundly. Despite all the great opportunities here, I don’t think McDaniel has nearly enough swagger. So get some swag and swagger. We live in an age of super connectivity. Like me, most of you publish on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. (I invite you to follow my Tweets @DrRog; or friend me, and I’ll friend you back.) How often do you use your social networks to spread the word about interesting things on the Hill? I challenge you to use your status bar or your Flip cam to make the rest of the world as aware of this great community as we are. Every time we post something positive about McDaniel, the value of our college brand and ultimately the value of your diploma rises. (And every time we say something negative, the reverse is true. Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot!) Wear Green; speak Green; act Green. You are McDaniel; shout about it.

Have a great year, Green! I’m honored to serve as your President.