Connecticut College Magazine · Fall 2012


Jennifer Evans '06 trains Dillon, a capuchin monkey, how to be an assistant and companion to individuals with disabilities. Photo courtesy of Helping Hands.

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President Higdon speaks to new students at a pre-orientation event in August. Photo by A. Vincent Scarano

A message from the President

by Leo I. Higdon, Jr.

I wasn't surprised to learn that Newsweek recently named Connecticut College one of the 10 most beautiful schools in the country. Like most rankings, it's completely unscientific — it even attempts to factor in the weather and the attractiveness of our students. But I can't argue with the conclusion: Connecticut College is a visually stunning place.

We spent the summer making this campus even more beautiful, as well as more functional, because we know the physical setting plays an important role in the student experience as well as in attracting prospective students. It's also important for alumni, who frequently tell me that the beauty of the campus is a point of pride for them.

Learn more about the latest improvements to residential houses, roads, athletics facilities and other spaces here.

As we continue to enhance the physical campus, we also are building the rigor and quality of the academic program and intellectual life at the College. One of our latest innovations is the new Academic Resource Center. Read here about how it will help all our students reach their highest academic potential and further distinguish Connecticut College.

Equally important is the work done by faculty behind the scenes to re-evaluate and renew the curriculum, including our general education requirements. Over the summer, faculty attended workshops and meetings to discuss new ways to ensure that general education provides the strongest possible foundation for the intellectual discovery that unfolds here.

As I welcomed new students and their families to campus a few weeks ago, I couldn't help but marvel about what this exceptional group of young people will experience during their four years at Connecticut College. They will be challenged — and, I hope, they will challenge themselves — to explore new ideas, break through cultural boundaries and discover new passions.

One former student who has clearly found his life's passion is Debo Adegbile '91. Now a trustee of the College, Debo is the acting president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a legal organization that fights for racial justice. Debo was the featured speaker at this year's Convocation, where he shared an inside look at the pending Supreme Court case, Fisher vs. University of Texas at Austin. This case is expected to have a significant impact on how colleges and universities treat race in admission. Listen to his Convocation speech here.

Debo's active involvement in the College is characteristic of our alumni who generously share their knowledge and talents with our students. The connections students make — with alumni, professors and classmates — help shape their personal and professional lives. And every day, I see in our alumni the value of these connections.

I invite all alumni and parents to join us on Fall Weekend, Oct. 5-7, and make some new connections of your own. I look forward to seeing you then.

Connecticut College Magazine

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