March 28, 2014
To members of the Earlham Class of 2018,
Welcome to Earlham! I’m thrilled you have decided to join this unique and vibrant community of inquiry and discovery. I know this letter will find you filled with eagerness to explore the possibilities that lie before you. But I’ll bet you are also feeling just a tiny bit of apprehension as well, as you try to imagine the countless new things that await, the things you don’t know, who your roommate will be, buildings with no names on them, …come to think of it, a good, solid list of anxieties could go on and on.
Well, my first bit of advice is — relax. I think I know a little how you feel. As I reflect back on the past few years, I can confirm that there will indeed be many new and surprising moments ahead of you. It’s true — you are about to be stretched and challenged in ways you have not yet experienced and can’t really anticipate. After all, that’s what you should expect from an excellent education in the liberal arts and sciences. But you can also be confident that you will be capable of meeting those challenges and all members of the Earlham community stand ready to encourage and support you every step of the way. You’ve come here to learn more about who you are, and to discover who and what you might become. You’ll find Earlham to be an unusually welcoming community in which to begin your journey of discovery.
I look forward to meeting each one of you in person in the coming months, and learning about your hopes and dreams. Sometime during your next four years, I hope you will also have occasion to meet the rest of my family — my wife Ellen, a graphic artist and book designer, my son Aaron, now in graduate school (but who visits from time to time), and my daughter Abigail, now finishing her sophomore year at Earlham. And I’m sure we’ll get to know some of your family members as well.
I hope the remainder of your summer is enjoyable, and that your transition to Richmond goes smoothly. We are all looking forward to welcoming you to Earlham. (And don’t worry — most of the buildings do have names on them — you’ll never be lost!)