By: Sandy Pfeiffer
October was a fine month for Warren Wilson, so much so that this brief summary can't include all important events and awards. That fact speaks to the success you have helped bring to the College.
In the events department, several highlights for me were my first Homecoming and first meeting with our Board of Trustees. Homecoming presented nonstop action with Reunion parties, campus bonfires, exciting athletic contests, and festivals. I've been to my share of Homecoming celebrations over the years and can honestly say that this one was my favorite–and it was thoroughly "Warren Wilson." Just a few days later, our Board of Trustees came to campus from around the country to approve
the tentative operating budget for next year and discuss other college business. It's our great fortune to have a Board members with varied career experiences and with deep commitment to the College. A third major event this month involved our hosting a team of visitors conducting a periodic accreditation of our Education program. The visit went well, and I appreciate the considerable effort put forth by many faculty and staff in the academic division.
The past month also brought the College significant recognitions, a few of which I'll mention here. At the national level, we were given the prestigious 2006 Campus Sustainability Achievement Award, in the category of four-year institutions with fewer than 1,000 students. The award is presented by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), an organization to which many academic institutions and other groups belong. On the state level, we received the Environmental Stewardship Award from Sustainable North Carolina at its conference in Raleigh on October 30. Also on the topic of sustainability, the College received international recognition in an article that appeared in the October 20 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, the premier news periodical in higher education. Lawrence Biemiler wrote a wonderful piece on the Warren Wilson Farm in which John Pilson and his staff and student colleagues are featured. I recommend you read the article and pass it along to others who may want to know more about the way the College applies the Triad and principles of sustainability to this special resource at our college, the Farm. Here's the link: http://chronicle.com/free/v53/i09/09a05601.htm I should add that another nice article on the success the College has achieved with sustainability just appeared in the October 30 issue of the national
publication, Presbyterian Outlook. It is entitled "It IS Easy Being Green: Possibilities in Campus Greening" and was written by our own Julie Lehman, director of church relations at the College.
As well, Warren Wilson was named one of Barron's "Best Buys in Education" in its biannual guide. We were among 247 colleges chosen from across the country that provide "a first-rate education at an affordable price." The guidebook author writes the following about the College: "If Warren Wilson had a motto, it might be 'Work for yourselves, work for others,' which is exactly what the 820 undergraduates enrolled at this woodsy North Carolina campus do."
Finally, I want to thank the entire college community for helping us surpass our United Way goal in the campaign that just ended. Led by co-coordinators Katie Green and Gail Bailor, the campaign had a goal of $9,000 and brought in about $10,600 from 62 contributors. Last year we brought in about $8,400 and had 39 contributors. Many thanks to Katie and Gail for their leadership in a project that will support our greater community.
There is much more I could write about our work at the College last month, but I've committed to keeping my messages brief (relatively!). In the coming weeks, my colleagues and I are exploring other means of notifying people inside and outside the College community of accomplishments at Warren Wilson. It's my goal that "best kept secret" become a phrase of the past.
Next month I'll give you more information about the Action Plan now being developed on campus. For now, let me wish you a peaceful month ahead and an enjoyable Thanksgiving.