College of Wooster — Spring 2011
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What’s Good About Goodbye?

Dear Wooster alumni, parents and friends,

When I graduated from The College of Wooster, I did not expect to return—at least, not sooner than my 25th reunion, by which time, in my fantasy, I would have acquired fame, wealth, and a perfect figure.

When I did come back to campus in 1973, possessing none of the above attributes, it was, I thought, just for a summer before I would move on to something else. (I’d been promised a job in Boston for the fall.) When that job fell through at the last minute, I was able to secure several part-time jobs on campus, one of which was as a grants writer in the Department of Development. (Who says English majors aren’t employable?)

The part-time job became full-time, and responsibilities increased. In 1979, thanks to a huge leap of faith by President Henry Copeland and members of The Board of Trustees, I was named vice president for development. There followed years of intense activity and engagement with Wooster’s Trustees, alumni and friends, three comprehensive campaigns, two changes of president, and countless trips to and from the airport. No two days were ever quite the same; nearly every day presented some new insight into the character of the College and the individuals who support it.

To have work that is fully engaging, to do it with colleagues one respects and holds in great affection, to get to know thousands of the alumni and friends whose devotion to Wooster is the source of its abiding strength and vitality, and to witness daily the “miracles”—large and small—that occur for our students and the faculty mentors who inspire them, has been a rare privilege. The captivating beauty of our campus in any season is food for the soul. It’s easy to see why I’ve chosen to stay at Wooster.

But now, I write to let you know that I will be stepping down as vice president for development on June 30, 2011. I will have a continuing association with the College, working on projects assigned by President Cornwell, throughout the 2011-12 academic year. In the days and weeks ahead, I look forward to expressing my personal appreciation to many of you who, individually and collectively, have made my years at Wooster such a pleasure.

“What’s good about goodbye” is that it isn’t goodbye, not really, just a transition point inevitable in the life of every college. I know that my successor will quickly discover the stellar qualities of all things Wooster, but most especially that Wooster’s alumni and friends are beyond compare.