Five Months in: Landgraf Talks Presidency

By Brooke Schultz and Molly Igoe
Editor-in-Chief and News Editor

Washington College, said President Kurt Landgraf on Monday, is his life —“period,” he said.

“This job is — and I’ve had some decent jobs in my life, and worked pretty hard — and I’ve never had a job like this. This requires seven days a week, if you do it right, and I’m trying to do it right. We’ll find out,” he said.

From attending alumni fundraisers around the Eastern Shore region, to partaking in student events, to meeting with faculty, to connecting to the Chestertown community, Landgraf has been busy.

“You have to be available and you have to, and have to want to, go to student events, town events, you have to do alumni events,” he said.

Connecting with the community is a priority of his as president, he said.

One of the events Landgraf is hosting for the community is the Dickens of a Christmas, part of the December First Friday Weekend lineup in downtown Chestertown.

During that weekend, Dec. 1-3, the Board of Visitors and Governors will be meeting, and they are invited to participate in the town’s holiday celebration.

“We’re going to have a busy weekend,” he said.

The College also has plans to get involved with Kent Forward and Kent County Public Schools, and has recently made a donation to the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company.

“I have a very, very strong belief that it’s incumbent upon us to be supportive of these kinds of organizations,” he said. “[The] resources we have here can make a difference for their school district; we’re the largest employer in county, we have an obligation to do what we can to make this a better community and county to live in.”

Back on campus, the biggest thing he’s learned from his five month tenure is the value of respect, he said.

“We need to be respectful — staff needs to be respectful, the faculty and staff need to be respected; the students need to be respected,” he said. “This is an environment that only thrives when we all respect each other as human being.”

Additionally, co-governance with the faculty has been a big part of this year. Landgraf said this is different than his history in the corporate world.

“I find it to be a good process,” he said.

After a busy semester, Landgraf too is looking forward to Thanksgiving break. He plans on going to his home in Wilmington to spend the holiday with his wife and family.

“I haven’t been back to Wilmington almost since I started here,” he said.  “I think the next time I’m going to have any break is after commencement and then I’ll probably take a little vacation, a few weeks off. But there are no vacations for the college president during the school year.”

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