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The College community is already buzzing about President Leo I. Higdon Jr.'s important legacy of achievement. But two weeks after he announced he will retire at the end of 2013, Higdon, characteristically, is focused on the work he plans to accomplish through the remaining 14 months of his presidency.
"We have a very exciting year ahead as we work together to launch the new Academic Resource Center, begin an in-depth analysis of our general education curriculum, raise funds for the Shain Library renovation and complete our comprehensive Campaign for Connecticut College," Higdon said.
To date, the College has raised $190 million toward the Campaign's $200 million goal. The Campaign is funding a bold transformation of the educational experience that includes an increasingly global perspective, a more collaborative world-class science education, broader access through increased financial aid and a flourishing - and increasingly rigorous - academic environment.
Under Higdon's leadership the Campaign, which runs through June 30, 2013, has also supported a number of campus improvements, including the new Science Center at New London Hall, new fitness center and new student social spaces, as well as improvements to student residences, classrooms, athletics facilities and campus infrastructure.
Up next are the creation of the Academic Resource Center, funded by an anonymous $11 million gift to the College, and a major renovation of the Charles E. Shain Library that will enable the 40-year-old building to better serve the changing needs of students. Plans for the library include more individual and collaborative study spaces, more technology-rich and flexible study areas, a full-service information commons, a transformed building entry and other enhancements to allow for more natural light throughout the building.
In the coming year, Higdon will also enhance sustainability efforts, broaden successful diversity initiatives to include staff, build on admission momentum and continue to increase the reputation and visibility of Connecticut College.
Higdon said he is touched by the outpouring of support he has received since he announced his Dec. 31, 2013 retirement plans. "I am gratified and energized by the thoughtful messages I have received from students, parents and alumni. Together, we will continue to advance this great College and position it for the many wonderful things to come," he said.