Please allow me to introduce myself to you as the 25th president of Wesleyan College. I assumed this position on
July 1st. For the past ten years, I have served Wesleyan as vice president for academic affairs. I am honored to lead this college I have loved for a decade, and to continue contributing to women’s higher education—a profession I have loved for three decades. As a member of the United Methodist clergy, I am particularly proud to be serving a United Methodist institution of higher education.
I first learned about women’s colleges during high school while playing at an All-State Orchestra event in my hometown of Florence, SC. I remember returning home from the weekend and announcing to my mother that I wanted to go to Converse College. As a divorced mother raising her children alone, my mother couldn’t imagine finding a way for me to go to a private women’s college. I did not go to Converse, but thanks to several generous scholarships and the intervention of wonderful people at Central United Methodist Church, I was able to attend Columbia College which, along with Wesleyan, was one of three remaining United Methodist women’s colleges in the country.
So here I am today. The president of a private women's college. In my role, I will empower and support others who share the responsibility for institutional leadership. Wesleyan’s faculty and staff are smart, creative, industrious, and entrepreneurial, and most of all, they are devoted to Wesleyan. But it’s the students who motivate us every day to do our best. It's all for them. They enter college with hope and a desire to succeed and it’s our job to see that they do.
It is this very special community to which I will dedicate my time and energy. I want to hear the hopes and dreams of students, faculty, and staff. I want to hear the stories of alumnae who were forever changed by this grand institution. I want to collaborate with community members who love Wesleyan and want to help the College grow and succeed as part of Macon’s future.
It will take all of us to make Wesleyan a close-knit community of diverse women who value building relationships with people from all walks of life.
This fall, diversity and inclusion conversations will permeate our curriculum and co-curriculum. Here are just a few of the things we have planned so far.
We will appoint a President’s Council for Diversity and Inclusion, comprised of students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumnae, and community members.
Tonya Parker, assistant dean of students for diversity and inclusion, will establish a Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board comprised primarily of students, to address campus relationships and plan activities.
Train students to lead diversity dialogues throughout the semester.
Visit Tubman Museum’s mural From Africa to America. Two panels address Macon’s history.
On August 17, we will hold a Service of Racial Reconciliation to acknowledge our remorse for occasions in the college’s past where racism was tolerated. We will announce opportunities for the college community to hear from Dr. Karen Huber and college archivists about their current and future research to re-tell the history of the college, not glossing over the parts we regret.
On August 29 our Fall Convocation will formally mark the beginning of the school year with keynote speaker, The Reverend Tiffany Knowlin.
Students enrolled in Dr. Huber’s Public History course will conduct oral histories.
Begin Fall Diversity Dialogues September 19 with Dr. Catherine Meeks, former Wesleyan professor.
The past few weeks have been busy, emotional, and stimulating. Moving forward, we will embody the best characteristics of a modern, inclusive community—the kind we want to be and can be. I am proud to walk this journey with you and I pray that God will continue to bless Wesleyan College.
Thank you for your prayers, your ideas, and your support and for being “true, faithful, and loyal” to our beloved Wesleyan College.