John and Susan Klein roast s'mores with Carl Coffey '11 during the fall "S'mores with the President" event for students, staff and faculty.
There is no shortage of theories attempting to explain the depth and rapidity of the global economic downturn. Whether based on economic models, monetary policies, or socio-political analysis, theories are retrospective in nature and, as such, do little to provide a solution. At this moment, steps toward recovery are far more important.
In his monograph, Good to Great and the Social Sectors, author Jim Collins concludes that the key to success for social sectors—within which Randolph College is included—is to be deliberate and purposeful about defining and attaining excellence. “Greatness is not a function of circumstance,” Collins writes. “Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline.”
Collins’ premise is reflective of the path on which the College now finds itself. We must move forward confidently with purpose, or the “conscious choice” to which Collins refers, and with passion, which often fuels the discipline necessary to be great.
Our sense of purpose enables us to continue to gain momentum, and Randolph College has undertaken a new commitment to share our community with more prospective students, alumnae and supporters through the strategic use of social media, videos, and branding efforts. The decision to hire four new faculty members for next year indicates our commitment to the academic program. A new initiative, the RISE program, will provide every Randolph College student with the opportunity to propose, and receive funding for, independent research in the student’s junior or senior year. The new field and track complex is enriching the experience of all members of the campus community. We are energized by student activities, such as the student-run organic garden, WWRM, the newly revitalized online student radio station, and by the research and publishing accomplishments of our faculty and students.
However, strategies and plans founder without the passion to achieve and complete them. Passion is a quality in plentiful supply at Randolph College and is evidenced everyday as these interests are shared in the classroom, in the laboratory, on the playing field, and with the broader Lynchburg community. Faculty and staff members support our students in every way, often returning to campus after hours to participate in campus events or student activities. We are fortunate to be a part of a family here at Randolph College, and that mutual appreciation of ideas, interests, and opinions fosters an environment of discovery for everyone.
With the College’s transition to coeducation nearly complete, we see wonderful things happening on campus. We are moving forward with purpose, leveraging our passion to be great in everything we do and celebrating our accomplishments together.
John E. Klein