Ithaca College Quarterly 2004/2  



President's Corner
The Roads Traveled

Taking the College message to places far and wide.

One of the most difficult challenges I face as a college president is the struggle to balance time spent on campus with time spent spreading the "good word" about Ithaca College to others. While I have come to agree with the writer Paul Theroux's conclusion that "Travel is only glamorous in retrospect," I have also found it to be a wonderful way to gain valuable perspective.

I have enjoyed numerous opportunities to visit with alumni and friends of the College at events as part of my travels across the country. In addition, I have had the good fortune of representing the College at national meetings and gatherings with higher education colleagues, at some of which I was also invited to deliver talks. I have come away from each of these visits with the reassuring knowledge that our reputation as an innovative college on the move in academics, athletics, and all aspects of campus life is national, and growing ever stronger.

Below is a sampling of my travels on behalf of the College over the past year:

  • August 20, 2003: New York Times project meeting, New York City
  • September 5, 2003: Empire 8 Athletic Conference Presidents Council meeting, Rochester, New York
  • November 11, 2003: Media reception/dinner, New York Press Club, New York City
  • November 14, 2003: Fulbright board of directors meeting, Washington, D.C.
  • November 16, 2003: Delivered keynote address at North East Association for Institutional Research conference, Newport, Rhode Island
  • December 5, 2003: W. P. Stewart investment seminar, New York City
  • January 4-6, 2004: Council of Independent Colleges board of directors meeting, Coronado, California
  • January 11-12, 2004: 2004 NCAA convention, Nashville, Tennessee
  • February 29, 2004: Delivered keynote address at National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education conference, Miami
  • April 1, 2004: Meeting with deputy education editor, U.S. News and World Report, Washington, D.C.
  • April 2, 2004: Meeting with senior editor, Chronicle of Higher Education, Washington, D.C.
  • April 2, 2004: Commission on Women in Higher Education meeting, Washington, D.C.
  • April 5, 2004: Delivered address, "Reflections on Women's Work," St. Michael's College, Burlington, Vermont
  • April 29, 2004: NCAA Division III Presidents Council meeting, Indianapolis
  • This spring I was also pleased to make the opening remarks at the Ithaca College Summit on Sustainability, which featured presentations by business and education leaders from as far afield as Austin, Chapel Hill, London, Sausalito, and Vancouver. The summit drew about 200 delegates and helped bring national attention to Ithaca College as a leader in sustainability education (see story, page 22).

These are critical times in higher education, as institutions are challenging themselves to strengthen enrollment, take on bold projects, realize their visions, and still contain the costs of doing business in today's political and economic landscape. Through my attendance at such gatherings -- whether it be with higher education administration colleagues or members of the media -- Ithaca College can guarantee that its voice will be a part of these national discussions. As its reputation and name recognition grow, we will be invited to take part in even more such conversations.

It is no less important to be a part of discussions on issues closer to home, as Ithaca College is a vital partner in the local community. To that end, over the past year I have made presentations to two Rotary Clubs, given the keynote address at the annual meeting of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County, copresented with vice president for institutional advancement Shelley Semmler at an Association of Fundraising Professionals meeting, and joined a small luncheon with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and other local leaders. Last October I was honored to take part in the official proceedings at Cornell University for the inauguration of President Jeffrey Lehman.

This is a pivotal time in the history of Ithaca College, and I am excited about our future. It has been gratifying to find that so many alumni and higher education colleagues share this positive outlook. I hope to see you in my travels.

Peggy R. Williams

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