Fox Inspires Faculty, Staff to Be Bold

September 8, 2008

“Boldly Baldwin” was the message that infused Mary Baldwin President Pamela Fox’s multimedia presentation on August 27 — her sixth state of the college address to faculty and staff — one of the markers of the start of the 2008–09 academic year.

“Let us be clear in expressing our shared identity,” Fox said, reinforcing her goal for Mary Baldwin to be recognized in the national higher education arena. “Let us proclaim it boldly to ourselves, our prospective students, through our alumnae, and to the national arena of higher education. Let us never be at a loss to answer the questions: Why Mary Baldwin? Why now? Why me? Let’s own and share the position of this college like no other.”

Pearce Science Center renovation renderingFox’s speech included announcements about bold donations to the college from several members of the college’s Board of Trustees, building momentum for the recently launched Campaign for Mary Baldwin. Among the significant gifts is the largest contribution to date from Claire Lewis “Yum” Arnold ’69 and husband, H. Ross Arnold III, to invest in strategic initiatives through the Arnold 2014 Innovation Fund. In addition, an endowed leadership scholarship was created by Margaret Wren de St. Aubin ’81 and two endowed study abroad scholarships were set up by Sally Armstrong Bingley ’60 and Sue McDowell Whitlock ’67. Trustees Donald Wilkinson and Janet Russell Steelman ’52 are helping to move along the fundraising effort for renovation of Pearce Science Center; each donated funds for the renovation and naming of a classroom in the Center.

Audio clips from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, YouTube video of student leaders performing the new Mary Baldwin University Fight Song, and pictures of the abstract paintings of Mary Baldwin alumna Judith Godwin provided the backdrop for Fox’s rallying call as the college enters the fifth year — and halfway point — of its current strategic plan, Composing Our Future. We continue in the second phase of the three-part plan; this phase is rooted in a call to “Invest and Innovate.”

Judith Godwin's Blue Arrow“I asked you to call upon the confidence that has driven our entrepreneurial spirit as creative change-makers. I am humbled, but not surprised by your response. Everyone shares in the measure of this success. It is yours. Congratulations and thank you,” Fox said, highlighting many of the 13 new and enhanced academic and co-curricular programs that sprung from her request for the college community to innovate last year.

“We know this institution creates: Women and men who are beyond category. Confident. Compassionate. Creative changemakers. Disciplined women who will make a difference,” Fox said. Some of those creative changemakers — student leaders and those in the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership — have already arrived to begin the 2008–09 school year. As Fox spoke, new PEG students and young women in the Ida B. Wells living-learning community moved in to their residence halls. By the end of the day on August 28, more than 310 freshmen and transfer students will have arrived on campus. Residential College for Women upperclasswomen return August 30 and 31 and classes begin September 1.

Read the more about the college’s commitment to being Boldly Baldwin in the full text of President Fox’s state of the college address.