President-elect Dan Weiss addressed the College for the first time today in Founders Hall, packed with students, faculty, staff and members of the Board of Managers and Corporation.
The event, which was also available online via live streaming, opened with Interim President Joanne Creighton, who will remain in office until Weiss takes the helm next July.
The event was not only a welcome for Weiss, but also for Howard Lutnick ’83, who addressed the College for the first time as co-chair-elect of the board. Lutnick, who is Chairman and Chief Executive of Cantor Fitzgerald, introduced Weiss at length, improvising on his prepared remarks.
Praising a “broad and deep” effort by the Presidential Search Committee, Lutnick emphasized that among a large pool of exemplary candidates, Weiss stood out as a candidate whose interviews were both distinct and transformative.
“As it turned out, through those committee meetings, we all found..that one candidate was changing the way the interviews felt at the end, that we felt better about ourselves when we left our interview and our meetings with Dan,” Lutnick said.
“He raised us up, effectively, he made the committee feel better about everything we were doing,” Lutnick said. “And that is how you reach swift, unanimous consensus.”
Weiss echoed this sentiment in his own speech, calling the interview process a “powerful experience.” He cited the honor code, small size of the campus, Quaker tradition and academic environment as part of his attraction to the College.
“This is a world that we all know is struggling in many, many ways, and requires strong leadership, ethical responsibility, educated citizens,” said Weiss, speaking to issues of affordability and public trust among institutions of higher education. “Small colleges can have a big impact because of their vision and the singularity of the approach to what they do. And I think Haverford embodies that.”
Weiss ended his remarks by emphasizing his commitment to working with students and taking time to learn more about the College. “There’s nothing that we’re going to do on this campus, while I’m here, that we won’t do together,” said Weiss.”I have a great deal to learn about Haverford, and I will engage in that exercise energetically.”
The President of Lafayette College since 2005, Weiss will serve out the remainder of his term. He announced the conclusion of his presidency in a message to the Lafayette community yesterday.
For more on the 14th president: http://haverfordclerk.com/2012/05/haverfords-next-president-named/
ABOVE: Weiss receives a standing ovation after his remarks.
Photos by Jonathan Yu ’12 for The Clerk.