Not to sound like a geezer but this is the third presidential baton-passing I’ve witnessed. I was a year out of Colby when Robert E.L. Strider handed off to William R. Cotter. I came on as editor of Colby the same year President Cotter handed off to William D. Adams. And now Bro Adams has turned the College over to David A. Greene.
In none of these cases did the new president settle for his predecessor’s status quo.
For that reason I read Ruth Jacobs’s cover story with more than an editor’s eye. I read it for clues about the new president’s priorities, for glimpses of his vision for the place.
All indications, from the story’s lead paragraph to the closing quote, are that a new and exciting era in Colby’s history has just begun. Access, reach, reputation—it appears (and the sources in the story support this) that the College is about to launch itself to a new level. As I read the story I found myself figuratively reaching for my seatbelt to buckle in.
Of course, this isn’t a race for racing’s sake. Good students come in. Better students—and people—go out. Those graduates, as President Greene notes, go out to do good in exponential ways.
As I was thinking about writing this piece, I started flipping through old copies of The Colby Alumnus. (The geezer thing, I know.) I landed on an installment of “The President’s Page,” a version of which will begin appearing again in the next issue of Colby Magazine. It contained this sentence: “The vitality which pervades the College, the widely expanding clientele which is in evidence, our financial condition greatly strengthened during the recent difficult years, the improvements in our curriculum and instruction which have raised the standards of our intellectual life; all these furnish abundant proof that our program is sound and that its completion is assured.”
That was President Franklin W. Johnson, in April 1940, not long before he turned the presidency over to J. Seelye Bixler.
The more things change, the more things must change. Here we go.
Gerry Boyle ’78, P’06