Email from Trinity College President James F. Jones to the Campus Community

By May 6, 2013

From: James F. Jones, Jr.

Sent: Monday, May 06, 2013 10:57 AM

To: James F. Jones, Jr.

Subject: Leadership Changes at Trinity

May 6, 2013

Dear Members of the Trinity College Community,

I write at this time to announce two changes in the leadership of the

College, both of which will take effect on July 1, 2014.

First, in anticipation of the end of Paul E. Raether’s remarkable term

as Chair of the Board of Trustees on June 30, 2014, I am pleased to

announce that Cornelia Parsons Thornburgh, Class of 1980, has been

unanimously elected Chair-Elect of the Board of Trustees.

While there will be opportunity to acknowledge the many contributions of

both Paul and Cornie in the coming year, allow me to make several

comments.  Paul Raether, Class of 1968 and Trinity parent ’93, ’96, and

’01, joined the Board in 1989 and assumed the chairmanship in May 2002.

He has been the longest-serving Chair of the Board and the most

philanthropic of all alumni in the history of our College.  His

contributions are both legion and enduring. These include the completion

of the Raether Library, the endowment of five Raether faculty chairs,

significant faculty development initiatives, and the Dream Camp summer

program for Hartford children.  All of these gifts have been made with

his wife Wendy and their daughters, all three of whom are Trinity

graduates.   Paul has also supported key Trinity initiatives

anonymously, serving as a quiet benefactor of many critical endeavors we

have undertaken under his chairmanship.  He has contributed enormous

time and energy to his beloved alma mater, and his leadership has guided

our institution in more ways than any of us could possibly count.

Trinity is fortunate to have someone as capable, experienced, and

committed as Cornie Thornburgh to assume the leadership of the Board of

Trustees.  Cornie joined the Board in 2005.  Since then, she has been

actively involved in every facet of the Board’s activities.  Cornie

served as tri-chair of the Cornerstone Campaign and was National Chair

of the Trinity Annual Fund.  She co-chaired the Charter Committee for

Building Community at Trinity and is a founder of the Women’s Leadership

Council.  She and her husband Richard provided funding for the creation

of four theme houses on campus at the bottom of the recent economic

recession, and Cornie has been an invaluable contributor to the Career

Development Center at Trinity.  Cornie is currently the liaison to the

Board of Trustees as we implement the new social initiatives unanimously

adopted in October from the Charter Committee’s recommendations.  I know

she will provide excellent leadership for Trinity in the years to come.

I am writing also to tell you that I recently approached the trustees to

convey my wish, effective June 30, 2014, to step down as president and

to resign my tenured appointment as Trinity College Professor in the

Humanities one year earlier than my contract now stipulates.  I have

every confidence that this is the optimal moment for me to move aside.

Several years ago, while we were in the midst of our Cornerstone

Campaign and identifying strategic priorities, I had agreed to extend my

term through June of 2015.  With much of our work completed or well

underway, guided by Paul’s steady hand and with Cornie ready to assume

her leadership role, Jan and I have now concluded that the stage is also

set for new presidential leadership at Trinity.  A search committee for

Trinity’s next president will be formed and will consist of trustees,

faculty, and students.  In accordance with best practices, Cornie, as

Chair-Elect of the Board, will head the search committee.  In due

course, nominations will be sought from the entire College community,

and I ask in advance that each of you give some thought as to national

leaders whom you may wish to nominate for the presidency here.

Working together, our Trinity community-faculty, staff, students,

alumni, and trustees-has accomplished a great deal since Jan and I

arrived on Trinity’s campus in 2004.  I am proud of our collaborations

on so many fronts: notably the renovation of our historic Long Walk

buildings, the Mather dining facilities, Trinity Commons, and the Gates

Quadrangle, the success of our recent capital campaign, the expansion of

our study abroad programs, and the recognition of the College by the

most distinguished foundations in the country.  Even more importantly, I

applaud the myriad accomplishments of our faculty and students and

especially the fine work so many search committees have done on faculty

and administrative appointments over the past nine years during which we

have worked steadfastly together to further Trinity’s future.  Jan and I

count many faculty, staff, and alumni among our friends, and I shall

always treasure my associations with the hundreds of students I have

come to know both inside and outside my seminar room and on the athletic

fields, on Quest each year, and on my many trips with students in this

country and abroad.  I know that many of you will remain close friends

for years to come.

Another lifetime ago, one of my mentors in the art of the academic

presidency insisted that the two most important words in administering a

school were simply these: thank you.  I look forward to my final year

interacting with our students, faculty, and staff on campus, overseeing

the implementation of the new social policies, supporting our new Dean

of the Faculty Tom Mitzel, and continuing to build our endowment for

financial aid.  I am likewise certain that I shall spend much of the

next academic year just trying my best to express my gratitude to all of

you who have made Trinity our home for what will have been a decade come

June of 2014.  Thank you.

Yours very truly,

James F. Jones, Jr.

President and Trinity College Professor

In the Humanities

 

Schools: Trinity College Cases: Trinity College: New Social Code Erodes Freedom of Association