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