Bradley W. Bateman
President of Randolph College
It is hard to believe that it has been a full year since I arrived in Lynchburg. Serving as president of Randolph College has been everything I imagined—and more.
I will never forget the many “firsts” I experienced: helping new students move in during a day of downpours, performing during Pumpkin Parade, my first alumnae and alumni chapter meetings, Founders’ Day, the Symposium of Artists & Scholars, Commencement, Reunion, and Inauguration. Those major events were highlights of my year. But just as important to my overall experience were those “other” moments, the day-to-day happenings that make life on this campus interesting and fulfilling: chatting with students in the Skeller or Student Center, watching a performance or game, hearing stories from alumnae and alumni about their time here, discussing a research project with a member of our faculty, or just simply enjoying the quiet peacefulness of the front lawn on a sunny afternoon.
We are a College on the move, and there is much to celebrate and anticipate. Enrollment continues to grow, and just this summer, we launched a new, completely redesigned website that exudes the energy of our students and faculty and highlights our strengths. In addition, giving is up, and we are enhancing the beauty of our campus and facilities. In August, students moved into the apartments we purchased last year, and renovations have begun on Wright Hall.
However, we are not without our challenges, challenges we share with other liberal arts colleges nationwide. I have spent much time during the past year becoming a part of the national conversation about the importance of the liberal arts. The role of small colleges such as Randolph is even more vital today in this changing world than ever before. Yet parents are questioning the value of the liberal arts education. It is up to all of us to shift this mindset.
As you well know, what we do here behind the Red Brick Wall is as important today as it was more than 120 years ago when the first students crossed the muddy road to arrive on campus for the first time. We prepare students for more than a job—we prepare them for life. The lessons they learn here will carry them into the future, helping them adapt as the world changes. I encourage you to join me in the conversation. Share your positive experiences at the College with parents of prospective students. Talk to your legislators and politicians about the value of what we do here. Support the College financially and with your time and engage with all of us at Randolph as we show the world the power of the liberal arts—one graduate at a time.
Bradley W. Bateman