Commencement Will Mark Dr. Fox’s First Four Years

May 8, 2007

President Pamela Fox poses beside a decoration at the 2007 Spring FlingThe first four years of Pamela Fox’s presidency at Mary Baldwin University have danced, sung, and harmonized. They have recalled the Mary Baldwin of bygone days and envisioned its future. They have announced triumph and responded to tragedy. In educational settings, a period of four years marks a significant milestone — graduation.

President Fox’s accomplishments are worthy of reflection as she prepares to hand diplomas to the students who greeted her as freshmen during her first year as president.

Many of Fox’s feats — and those she would consider collaborative efforts — have been obvious and often publicly announced. Among these are the college’s visionary 10-year strategic plan, Composing Our Future, which includes the 10 transformational steps of the Mary Baldwin University Advantage; the campus master plan, Transforming Our Environment, providing an environmental basis for personal transformation; and Learning for Civic Engagement in a Global Context, the Quality Enhancement Plan that so beautifully weaves into the goals of the strategic plan. The creation of new minors in peacemaking and conflict resolution, public history, and film studies; re-energizing the community service aspect of Apple Day and restring the tradition of an orchard outing; and engaging alumnae/i in Class Leadership were other highlights lauded within the college community and beyond its boundaries.

Dr. Fox shows her appreciation for Gini Ridge, longtime director of food service at Mary Baldwin who recently retiredStill more accomplishments are in an “internal” category. Edward Scott, interim vice president of academic affairs and dean of the college, has spent the last year by Fox’s side. He and many others list faculty salary improvements, the restoration and renovation of facilities, and a recent restructuring of physical education and wellness efforts into a single department as some of her most notable activities. Another close colleague of Fox, Brenda Bryant, counts the president’s introduction of a college-wide inclusivity statement as a major accomplishment. Bryant also mentioned Fox’s positioning of Mary Baldwin as “a national leader in personalized, transforming liberal education” and the national media attention that has garnered. “Her ability to blend and harmonize our many voices is extraordinary,” said Bryant, vice president of enrollment management and student life and dean of students.

Dr. Fox outside a cathedral in France during her trip as part of an international education conferenceFox is an active participant in the national Women’s Colleges Coalition, attended an international conference (in France) about global citizenship in higher education, was appointed to Virginia’s Governor’s Education Council, and is a member of the influential groups such as Association of American Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, andLEAD Virginia. Her gift for strategic planning has also been useful in service to the Staunton community, where she serves on the boards of American Shakespeare Center, Frontier Culture Museum, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, Staunton Performing Arts Center.

Dr. Fox recieves an Mary Baldwin ring from her father as an honorary member of the Mary Baldwin Class of 2007Her own response? “I am honored to be recognized by the Class of 2007 as one of its classmates. Watching the growth and transformation of our soon-to-be graduates over the past four years is indeed my greatest source of joy,” she wrote in her leadership message in the May issue ofThe Cupola. She proudly wears the ring with the Mary Baldwin seal on her finger.

Front image: President Pamela Fox garbed in the bright red of her alma mater, University of Cincinnati, at her 2004 inauguration ceremony.