Dr. Troy VanAken, currently president of Thiel College in Pennsylvania, will begin his presidency this summer.
Our new Strategic Plan presents a clear direction for building on the College’s core values and inherent strengths.
Dear Elmhurst College Community,
On my first day as the Interim President of Elmhurst College, I want to send warm greetings. Since I was a member of the Board of Trustees for many years and became the Executive Vice President last November, I already know how special Elmhurst College is. Over the last several months I have gained an even greater appreciation of how the entire Elmhurst College community puts students first. The faculty and staff take considerable pride, and rightly so, in both challenging and supporting the students, always focusing on guiding them on their collegiate journey to integrate their goals of having a rewarding and meaningful career and a fulfilling life.
In this next year, as we prepare for a new president, Elmhurst College will first recommit to supporting both graduate and undergraduate students on their journey to “reach their potential” with an even greater focus on self-discovery and enhanced learning opportunities. New students will be engaged in First-Year Seminars in which they will be able to discover and develop their talents, skills and gifts, and begin to become the whole person that they can be in life and work. They will learn about themselves—their global perspective, their motivations and their feeling of belonging to the Elmhurst College community.
Second, as students progress on their journey, they will actively engage in pursuing their potential in courses taught by faculty who are foremost teachers but also scholars. Students will also be engaged in a number of experiential learning activities within the greater Chicago community, one of the greatest global cities in the world, and other places around the globe to help them learn and discover and develop their potential. Our place of learning extends beyond the walls of this beautiful campus, and students will have numerous encounters with difference that will challenge them to grow.
Third, students will have many mentors, models and advisors on their journey to fulfill their goals in work and life. They will work with professionals in businesses, religious organizations and schools, and thus they will have guidance and support of the faculty not only as mentors but also as persons active in the world of work. Students will have practical experiences that will help them become competitive in seeking their careers.
As we begin this journey together this year, I want to thank the Board of Trustees for giving me this opportunity to become a part of a community that has a rich tradition. Elmhurst College has always been a welcoming community, and this year will be no different. Together, we will extend our community, expanding on its “ever-widening circle” as Richard Niebuhr, one of our first presidents, challenged us to do.
Finally, please feel free to write me or stop by my office. I love to meet the members of this special community.
Larry A. Braskamp