Once I turned president of Earlham College almost two years in the past, I wished to widen the trail to an Earlham schooling, making certain that extra college students may benefit from all the pieces that now we have to supply. I additionally wished to strengthen the connections between our college students and our neighbors in Richmond.
Whereas it’s true that Earlham and Richmond have lengthy loved a mutually helpful relationship with each other — town’s founders are the identical individuals who established this faculty — far too lots of our college students don’t uncover all that Richmond and Wayne County have to supply. That’s regrettable, as a result of our college students who do change into extra deeply concerned in the neighborhood, have enriching experiences and construct relationships that final for years after they graduate.
Over the last 12 months, now we have made progress as a university in widening the trail to an Earlham schooling, hanging a historic partnership with Ivy Tech Group Faculty, permitting their graduates to switch to Earlham in six well-liked programs of research to earn a bachelor’s diploma in as little as two years. We’re additionally providing new scholarships to Wayne County college students and have launched a summer time on-line program providing coursework to the general public for the primary time. Within the years forward, we’ll add a strong dual-credit program for highschool college students, permitting up-and-coming students a jumpstart on their school research.
We’re making progress on the opposite priorities, too. Final month, we started clearing land on the intersection of Nationwide Highway West and Faculty Avenue to make approach for a brand new improvement that can deliver new sources to our college students and neighbors alike on Richmond’s west facet.
By a lease with native contractors, we envision the development of a 6,600 square-foot construction that can match our stunning campus structure and remodel an underutilized nook of campus that can improve the present enterprise district alongside Nationwide Highway West.
Whereas we wouldn’t have agency commitments from tenants, we envision the event to incorporate a espresso store, a restaurant, and a retail enterprise that might be engaging to our college students and neighbors on a facet of city that lacks the facilities discovered on town’s north and east sides.
We prefer to say that an Earlham schooling prepares our college students to be catalysts for good in a altering world, however we’re additionally dedicated to working “for good” in our personal again yard. We see this as a possibility to revitalize our neighborhood and empower our college students. We’re not searching for a cookie-cutter improvement that doesn’t replicate the wants of the group or our campus. Below the phrases of our lease, Earlham can have the flexibility to reject a enterprise that doesn’t align with our group values and aspirations. We need to improve the present enterprise district with choices that our west facet neighbors love whereas additionally attracting future college students.
Earlham has had west facet delight for 175 years. As a longtime neighbor and an employer with many school and workers selecting to additionally dwell on the west facet, we’re devoted to serving to our neighborhood thrive. Certainly, this isn’t a enterprise enterprise within the conventional sense, as a substitute it is a chance to take a position in the neighborhood we love.
All of us can profit if this improvement is profitable. And we’re dedicated to making sure it lives as much as our campus group’s beliefs of respect for individuals, group, and integrity.
As we method our one hundred and seventy fifth anniversary in 2022, we sit up for working with our buddies and neighbors in Richmond, to make our shared group a greater place to dwell, work and develop.
Anne M. Houtman is president of Earlham Faculty and Earlham Faculty of Faith.