Shimer College

January 17, 2014

President’s Letter

January 2014

Dear Alumni and Friends of Shimer,

As we welcome Spring 2014, we face exciting challenges and opportunities. Here on campus, we look forward to Orange Horse and Solidarity, to new courses and Assembly meetings. In the last few days, I have talked to a few Shimerians who are very much looking forward to completed theses.

In addition to the usual events of spring (which are never simply business as usual), there are several new developments underway that I want to share with you. This spring, we are embarking on creating a new strategic plan that will shape Shimer’s future. This project, which will require the input and feedback of the entire community, continues our tradition of participatory democracy. Keep a lookout for details from the Office of the President.

We also look forward to the first of this spring’s theater performances, which promises to be a very special event. We are excited to announce a staged reading of Twelfth Night led by Eileen Buchanan in honor of her many years of teaching at Shimer. Whether you are a spectator or a reader, this will be a rare opportunity to celebrate the best of Shimer together. Please mark your calendars for the evening of February 28, 2014 and join us in celebrating Eileen. If you are nearby and interested in participating in the performance, please look for more information under Related Links.

In other news from the President’s Office, I have just returned from terrific trips to Dallas to celebrate the establishment of the The Robert W. Russell Academic Support Fund and The Emma Waring Walbridge Administrative Support Fund, and to visit other alums and friends in Detroit.

Next week, I’m looking forward to addressing the Waukegan City Council on the occasion of announcing the launch of the Shimer College Pride of Place Scholarship, a scholarship fund in recognition of the locations that form Shimer’s history and its future. Similar public announcements will be made for scholarships for students from Waukegan, Carroll County, and the Third Ward of Chicago.

As I return to Shimer from the road, I am astounded once again at how extraordinary our students are and what an uncommon place this is. I hope you yourself will take a moment this month and let those around you know of the power of Shimer in your life. And, for those of you embedded in the world of social media, please join our LinkedIn group, so that Shimer can continue to be an important network across generations.

Over the break, I picked up a book  whose title I now interpret a little differently than when I first read it some years ago: Edwidge Danticat’s wonderful book of essays, Create Dangerously. Like Danticat—and Camus, on whose work Danticat draws—we know that the life of the mind demands that we not only push intellectual boundaries but also engage practically and actively with the world.

Will you be actively engaged with Shimer this semester?

I look forward to it.