A Year of Transition

This year was marked by numerous transitions, many of them seismic.

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As this academic year draws to a close, I’ve been reflecting on how I would sum up this year. One word comes to mind: transition. This year was marked by numerous transitions, many of them seismic.

When the year started, we found ourselves on an entirely new campus with an entirely new landscape. While the digs in the Financial District were an upgrade over the Empire State Building, the swap did not come without hiccups. We’ve spent the last nine months working out kinks in our facilities (and will continue to do so this summer), adjusting to the commute, and struggling to figure out how to build community in our new setting. We’ve made tremendous strides on all fronts, but it’s been no cake walk.   If that weren’t enough, we lost our president mid-year, the reverberations of which were felt throughout our community. Fortunately, we quickly found ourselves under the capable leadership of Andy Mills, though this meant yet another transition. Days later, Hurricane Sandy slammed into New York and our campus was in the dark for a week, creating yet another disruption.

Not an easy year. I commend you all for weathering the storms.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Remarkably, it’s also been a year of accomplishment: students stepping up to serve others in need in NYC during the hurricane; adding additional lounge space; securing housing downtown; deepening community through House retreats, traditions and events; a record number of students securing great jobs and internships at top organizations—United Nations, Morgan Stanley, NBC, CBS, Oppenheimer, UBS, SiriusXM, Penguin, to name but a few.

As the year comes to an end, we bid adieu to one group who deserves special recognition—the 72 graduates of the Class of 2013, our largest graduating since the College reopened in 1999. They’ve weathered more than the rest of us these past four years—and grown much. We wish them all well as they move on to new endeavors.

As we turn our eyes to this fall, we look forward to receiving another 150-170 bright-eyed, eager freshmen into our midst—our most selective incoming class to date. We will no doubt experience new transitions—shifts in housing; a reinvigoration of spiritual life; new student leaders; and a perhaps a new college president. But the disruptions should be nothing like this year. Rather, I look forward to a year of stabilization, of refocusing on who we are, going deeper into the things that make us unique.

Congratulations on finishing an arduous week of finals. Now go get some much deserved rest. Wherever you find yourself—here in the City, back home, China, Turkey, or Israel—I pray you have a great summer.

See you back here in a few months.

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