When Jane Fernandes visited campus in early April as a candidate to become president, she spoke about feeling called to Guilford.
Founded by Quakers, the College prizes silence as well as dialogue. So does Jane, who is deaf. She also shares Guilford’s commitment to the liberal arts, which she championed as provost at UNC Asheville.
During the three intervening months, her sense of being called has grown stronger, she told dozens of members of the College community – including Congressman Howard Coble ’53 – who gathered July 1 to welcome Jane on her first day as Guilford’s ninth president.
“I’m here in a place where my personal ethos and the ethos of the College community is a match,” she declared.
Ed Winslow, chair of the Board of Trustees, introduced Jane at the start of the afternoon reception.
“I see in you, Jane Fernandes, so many of the same qualities that make Guilford College such a unique and important place,” said Ed, who taught the audience how to say welcome in sign language.
“You are a world-class listener,” he said of Jane, “but you are not just about silence and listening. You are determined … and you’re as tough as nails, I know that. This is a great day.”
Jane thanked the College for extending a warm reception to her and her family. She ended her brief remarks with a call to action: “Let’s get on with it!”