I know members of the IC community lost loved ones this year, including cherished students who passed away well before we ever imagined possible. These losses continue to remind me that nothing in this life can be taken for granted, and our shared humanity is a precious gift.
I am reminded of this, too, when I look at our national and international landscape. Divisive politics, offensive speech, acts of violence and bias against vulnerable communities, and a frustrating disregard for life on our planet are not only fundamentally dehumanizing, they also separate us from one another. For Ithaca College to be a private institution that serves a public good, all of us must commit to being respectfully, responsibly, and productively involved in our local and global communities and in one another’s lives.
Moving Forward with Intentionality and Wholeness
Our implementation of Ithaca Forever is a huge moment for our community, as we finally put our ideas into action. I want to acknowledge that we have very tough decisions ahead of us, and that these decisions will be deeply informed by the strategic framework our community created together, a framework rooted in a shared vision, mission, and values—in realizing bold, realistic dreams for all. That is our collective responsibility as we truly commit to Ithaca Forever and to what is best for our current and future students.
As I shared in my email earlier this month, this fall we will welcome Wendy Kobler to the senior leadership team as our new Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Wendy joins Laurie Koehler, our Vice President for Marketing and Enrollment Strategy, in beginning her time at IC this academic year. Both will be playing an incredibly important role as we implement Ithaca Forever. I am excited to start this year with a full team that embraces my vision for servant-leadership rooted in collaboration, equity, and a transformative student experience.
As I enter my third year as part of the Ithaca College family, I feel as activated, positive, and enthusiastic as I did during my first. I am grateful to be a member of this community and thrilled by the amazing things that are in store for all of us. Our summer break doesn’t mean we stop our momentum, it is simply a time to recharge before we combine our energy and forge ahead. I look forward to working with all of you as we realize the potential of Ithaca College—and the promise of Ithaca Forever.
All my best,
Shirley M. Collado