On a snowy Tuesday, Dec. 10, Dan Weiss spoke at the Penn Club in New York City—the first in a series of events created to give the Haverford community an opportunity to get to know the new College president. Despite the inclement weather, the audience grew to 115 attendees, including alumni, parents, and friends.
After an opening reception, Weiss highlighted the special opportunities but also unique responsibilities of a liberal arts college like Haverford. “The world of higher education means that our objective is raised to an even higher level,” he said. Weiss discussed the importance of a financial model that reflected strict accountability to the strategic plan and addressed positioning a learning environment in a fast-changing technological landscape. “If changes are necessary, we are prepared to make them,” he added. Weiss emphasized the College’s collaborations with Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, and Penn and the need to leverage these partnerships to build an exciting new college environment.
Weiss was eloquent on the standards set by his predecessor Isaac Sharpless, who spoke a century ago of the need for an undergraduate experience of uncompromised quality. “And now we must build on these Quaker values,” Weiss said, “to create new learning environments—not just those that do exist, but those that should exist, where people can engage their own values.”
Weiss concluded by answering a number of thoughtful questions from the audience, and then spent time speaking informally with attendees. After the presentation he accepted an offer to grab a post-event drink with a group of young alumni, including Katherine Dopulos ’13.
The next stop on the presidential tour will be in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 12, with Boston and Chicago in the spring (April 9 and May 6, respectively).