A message from
Dr. Hilary L. Link
November 20, 2019
Dear Members of the Allegheny Community:
The last few weeks have been a busy — and exciting — time on campus. The inauguration celebration was a very special and memorable day for my family and me; I hope it gave you a sense of renewed pride in Allegheny and the place it holds in the national higher education landscape. I am so grateful for your involvement and the warm welcome and hospitality that you extended to the many guests who joined us.
In the past weeks, I also enjoyed meeting the alumni and families who brought their energy, excitement, and Allegheny pride to our Blue & Gold Weekend festivities — including those who wore Gator costumes to the football game! My thanks to all who worked to plan and provide programming for the weekend, which this year for the first time included faculty lectures on a range of topics and an opportunity to visit the new Allegheny Lab for Innovation and Creativity. The alumni and families I spoke with enjoyed every minute of being here on campus, and their enthusiasm only echoed the affection and commitment to Allegheny I have witnessed at various recent alumni events in Washington, D.C., Boston, and Pittsburgh.
I also was delighted to meet and gather with Allegheny alumni and families during a recent trip to Japan and China. We hosted several very successful alumni gatherings, and the Gators we met with were thrilled to be reconnected with their years at the College. At one of those visits, I was intrigued to learn that a student from Japan enrolled at Allegheny in 1884 after becoming acquainted with missionaries who graduated from the College. Nitobe Inazo attended Allegheny briefly and then did graduate work in the U.S. and Germany. He went on to become a noted agricultural economist, author, and diplomat who advocated for Japanese-U.S. understanding. In honor of his achievements, Nitobe was featured on Japan’s 5,000-yen note. It turns out Allegheny has been “global” for almost 150 years!
While in Japan, Provost Ron Cole and I had an enriching experience participating in the Great Lakes Colleges Association-Global Liberal Arts Alliance Leadership Meeting, where we strengthened connections with colleagues from around the world. Finally, I spent two days in Chengdu, China, visiting a wonderful Allegheny family and laying the groundwork for our students to participate in internships hosted by the technology company of an Allegheny parent. I am excited for the College to continue building on all that we already have accomplished as we extend our global reach and provide more opportunities for students to learn, grow, and flourish.
Allegheny’s Continued Leadership in Climate Action
I also wanted to share a brief update about Allegheny’s continued support of, and leadership in, climate action. As you may know, the College is poised to achieve climate neutrality next year, building on two decades of significant campus-wide efforts and commitments to sustainability. All of this progress has been supported by the research, activism, and engagement of our students working alongside faculty and administrators.
In 2017, President Jim Mullen signed the “We Are Still In” declaration committing to continue to pursue climate action ambitiously in support of the international Paris Agreement on Climate Change. You may be aware that the White House recently notified the United Nations that the United States will begin the withdrawal process from the Paris Agreement. Through the non-partisan We Are Still In initiative, I have again joined with presidents from other colleges and universities in offering statements that reaffirm the importance of the Paris Agreement and the continued relevance of climate action to higher education, the nation, and the world. I have included my statement here:
“It is imperative we commit and collaborate globally to find opportunities for creativity, transformation, and growth even as we face the turbulence of a rapidly changing climate. Allegheny College remains steadfastly committed to achieving carbon neutrality in 2020 and modeling to our students and community what it means to be an engaged, ambitious change agent in a diverse, interconnected world.”
For more information, please read this news release issued by Second Nature. Second Nature is the organization that coordinates We Are Still In as well as the Climate Leadership Commitments signed by President Richard Cook in 2007 and the Resilience Commitment signed by President Mullen in 2016. Allegheny’s climate action history, present, and future reinforces our mission to develop responsible citizens — and our distinctive emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and approaches to solving challenging problems.
As we prepare for a very busy time of the semester and the year, I hope that you have an enjoyable and relaxing Thanksgiving Break!
All the best,
Hilary L. Link