Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:
After months of anticipation and preparation, I am excited to finally be in Northfield, ready to begin our work together! Many thanks to those who have already offered warm welcomes and support.
I was fortunate in having time between the conclusion of my previous responsibilities, and the start of my time at Carleton, to do some traveling to visit family and friends in Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois, and points in between. At this time of transition and change, I found the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and refresh important relationships very grounding and restorative.
At the same time, I have been energized by the beginning of new friendships with colleagues here at Carleton. I appreciate the opportunity to work with faculty, staff, students, and trustees who have agreed to serve on the Presidential Inauguration Committee chaired by Professor Susannah Ottaway, and on the Transition and Orientation Team that is currently being formed. Both of these groups will play a critical role in helping me to get to know the Carleton community as quickly as possible. I am also very grateful to Steve and Jane Poskanzer for their friendship and support during this transition.
My personal journey this summer felt like good preparation for one of the most urgent tasks I see in the coming year: that of reconnecting with each other and re-imagining our sense of community, which has been tested and strained over the past eighteen months. I look forward to working with all of you to strengthen and celebrate the bonds that hold Carleton together, even as we continue the equally important work of confronting the need for our understanding of “community” to embrace greater openness to challenge and change.
Judging by the number of boxes unloaded yesterday, my husband Steve Jensen and I will be unpacking for weeks, and I know that coming to understand the unique qualities of the Carleton community will take much longer! I am thrilled to be embarking on this process of discovery with you, and look forward to all that we will learn about, and from, each other in the years to come.
I hope that when you see me or Steve on campus, you will introduce yourself and say hello! We look forward to meeting you all soon.
President Alison Byerly