Board of Visitors and Governors discuss future of College over Birthday Ball weekend

By Logan Monteleone

Elm Staff Writer

Coinciding with George Washington’s Birthday Convocation and the annual Birthday Ball event, on Saturday, Feb. 24, the WC Board of Visitors and Governors gathered at the College for their February meeting. 

According to notes recorded by The Elm Lifestyle Editor Riley Dauber, the first topics addressed in the general meeting included the visit from The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which took place at the beginning of March, changes to the State of Maryland’s Sellinger Grant for private institutions, and a recent donation by emeritus BVG member Barbara T. Cromwell ‘55. 

Concerning academic affairs, Provost Kiho Kim was recognized for his work since beginning his position at the College last summer. BVG members also commended the productivity of faculty members for their work on publications and research projects.  

The meeting addressed the upward trend in enrollment, the increase of applicant regions, and various demographic issues related to admissions. Recent and upcoming events important for financial advancement include the Shore Strong athletic challenge from March 27 to 28, and Alumni Weekend, which is scheduled for the end of May.  

Discussion of student affairs in the general meeting surrounded the idea of changing the format of future BVG meetings to feature more student voices in a discussion-based structure. 

A faculty representative for BVG, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of WC Archaeology Julie Markin, gave a report on a range of topics, including faculty morale, tenure, retirement, sabbaticals, and similar subjects related to the faculty experience.  

The Alumni Board also spoke at the general meeting, introducing plans to restructure the board and reinstate committees with new task assignments. The Board commented on the success of recent events in bringing alumni back to campus.  

Student Government Association President junior Miranda Parrish gave a report reflecting on events and accomplishments of the SGA throughout the past year, as well as addressing the recent turnover of executives and ideas for future events, including the restoration of a campus pub, creation of a new community space, and hosting a high school leadership summit.  

After the meeting, Parrish shared her thoughts on the productivity of the discussions and speeches.  

“I thought that the staff and faculty council topics were interesting, as they often overlap in unique ways. For example, in the past, level of morale and ways that the College has been proactive to boost [morale] even higher has been a point of discussion,” Parrish said. 

“The Board continued to be outwardly highly supportive of a pub on campus,” Parrish said. “This was something that many of them had when they were students here, and they thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of their experience. They want to share the good times that they had with students who are here now through the implementation of the pub again on campus.” 

The revival of an after-hours social space on campus — which a group of students first proposed during the Leadership Summit in January — successfully began with the first Shoreline Socials event on Friday, March 22.  

BVG Chair Stephen Golding ‘72 P ‘05 noted that one of the stand-out conversation topics was a proposal from VP for Marketing Brian Speer on updating the College’s visual identity system. Though the new College branding is yet to be formally released, the WC community was informed via email in early March from Speer that the College is moving away from all current logos, as a new visual identity has been designed and will be implemented in the coming weeks.  

Golding also commented on the details of President Mike Sosulski’s speech at the BVG meeting, including plans for a new WC Principles of Free Expression task force. Following January’s PEN America workshop, Sosulski expressed the desire to create a task force of faculty, staff, and students to promote free expression. 

“This effort is intended to make sure this is a place where perspectives are heard and we debate, but we do not shut down speech,” Golding said. “The president will look for endorsement across campus on what we agree on as a community and what will guide the future.” 

Golding said that his personal highlight from February’s meeting was the dinner on Friday night, where BVG members enjoyed hearing about the personal experiences and aspirations of current students.  With a focus on developing student-board member relationships, Golding expressed his hopes for upcoming meetings.  

“With regard to future meetings, board members continue to emphasize a desire to meet with faculty, students and staff as a way of learning more about what is going on at the College and how they can be supportive,” Golding said. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *