August 29, 2016

Letter from the President


What a privilege it is to serve as president of Guilford College. I am continually inspired to see the many remarkable ways in which our faculty, staff, students and alumni are living out the College’s mission and values. On campus, in our community and around the world, Guilfordians are making their mark as they commit themselves to changing lives — for good.

In this issue of Guilford College Magazine, you will meet some of these incredible people. Alumni features include an emerging leader in creating greater educational equity and opportunity; a savvy diplomat pursuing democracy, human rights and good governance throughout the world; a cutting-edge environmentalist dedicated to building community in Baltimore; a fiercely determined community organizer and advocate for people who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless; and a globally trusted expert in international trade relations.

You will also get the inside story from the faculty member who earned national — and international — recognition for her groundbreaking Every Campus a Refuge movement in response to the humanitarian crisis facing refugees from Syria and other lands. And be sure to read the captivating stories of two standout students — one who overcame considerable odds to become an entrepreneurial leader and politically astute activist on campus and in the community, and another who rose to an unexpected challenge and turned it into unforgettable teachable moments.

And, finally, this issue of the magazine pays tribute to those who have invested so much of themselves in profoundly shaping the lives of our students and advancing the critically important cause of the College.

These stories offer heartening encouragement for our continued work together in moving Guilford forward, recognizing the difficult realities still ahead of us. Restoring a robust enrollment and full financial health will take some time. I know we are more than up to the challenge.

As you will read in the pages that follow, tremendous change is underway throughout campus as we rally together to create the best possible future for this special place and the students we serve. I am invigorated by the depth and diversity of new ideas and possibilities springing to life. Like the spectacular magnolia trees that grace our campus, we are blooming anew.

Rejuvenated by a fresh awareness of Guilford’s mission, vision and values, our commitment to building an inclusive community of academic excellence grows ever stronger. We are exploring our assumptions, questioning our systems, and understanding better how the changing dynamics of technology and innovation influence students’ relationships to learning and the liberal arts.

Tangible signs of progress are already evident, elevating my confidence that we are taking all the right steps to further enhance and distinguish the value of a Guilford degree. I am honored to be your president and to play a part in this remarkable renaissance. And I’m exceedingly grateful for the leadership and support of our Board of Trustees, as well as our many devoted alumni and friends, who continue to faithfully invest in the College.

Together, I trust that we will find the light to guide us along the right path. As Way opens, I look forward to enjoying the journey with you.

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Jane K. Fernandes