To the Ithaca College community:
It has been one week since I arrived at Ithaca College, and what an incredible week it has been! I want to thank you all for the many messages of welcome and support that I have received since my introduction in February; you have enlivened my spirit and given me a greater sense of promise as I join the Ithaca College community. This past week I have been getting settled, making my way around campus, and talking with as many people as I can. Although campus is a bit quieter than it will be in the fall, a great many staff, faculty, and students are working very hard throughout the summer, and I have enjoyed getting to meet some of you and learning about what you do.
I had a fantastic time at an afternoon ice cream social hosted on campus last week by the Presidential Transition Team, where I had the opportunity to meet with many faculty, staff, and students. To my surprise and joy, some retirees and individuals not working this summer also decided to join in the festivities and welcome me warmly. I loved seeing so many people come out to connect, enjoy one another’s company, and share their impressions of Ithaca College. The energy was palpable among the great swath of students, faculty, and staff who shared their IC pride and deep commitment to our community. I am grateful for that special day and the thoughtful work that the transition team has been doing to help introduce me to IC.
After the announcement of my presidency, I dove deep into the work of wrapping up my duties at Rutgers University—Newark, and had the unforgettable honor of celebrating my last day there at commencement. Van and I took a few weeks to disconnect from work and recharge, before shifting to setting up our home here in Ithaca. We look forward to our sweet dog, Lola, joining us by the fall after she recovers from major surgery. She has been recuperating with my family while we get our home and routine settled, and we miss her very much.
The campus and local Ithaca communities have embraced Van and me with open arms and shared many suggestions for wonderful things to do in Ithaca during the summer. We are excited that we’ll be wrapping up this week by attending a performance of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the renowned Hangar Theatre in Ithaca. We are having a great time exploring the area and becoming Ithacans.
The rest of the summer promises to be intense but rewarding as we gear up for the academic year. This month I have the honor of participating in the week-long Harvard Seminar for New Presidents, along with more than 40 other new college and university presidents from across the country. I am looking forward to sharing some of the insights I gain from that experience with you. When I return, I’ll be holding an intensive retreat with my senior leadership team; getting ready for convocation and the many opening activities being held on campus; and making plans to meet with IC’s divisions, departments, and students as I start getting to know our many communities.
I look forward to seeing new and returning faces on campus in just a few short weeks, and I am eager to meet members of the IC family at events on and off campus this year. I am especially excited to welcome alumni, students’ families, and members of the local community to join us on campus November 3–5 in celebrating Ithaca College’s 125th anniversary. It is a tremendous honor to assume the presidency during this milestone year.
I look forward to continuing the process of learning as much as I can about the IC community, and sharing more with you in the weeks and months ahead about my hopes and thoughts as we collectively build a promising future for Ithaca College.
Thank you once again for the incredible welcome.
Shirley M. Collado