This past Saturday, at our 15th Annual President’s Gala for student scholarships, the board of trustees announced that numerous alumni, other friends, and members of my own family had contributed $2 million to create an endowment for need-based student scholarships to be awarded in my name. Not only was I surprised, but also I was truly overwhelmed by this generosity and recognition.
As most of you know, I was able to attend college because of scholarship assistance provided by my church as well as the institution itself. I earned my Ph.D. with support from the G. I. Bill. I know, scholarships matter.
Although I started my work career in business and then served in the U.S. Navy doing cryptography, I found my way back to higher education and have had an exciting and interesting life devoted to enhancing the environment for teaching and learning. I have served as a college president for 30 years and am, as far as I know, the only person to have served as head of a state higher education coordinating board and of both public and private institutions of advanced study.
On July 1st of this year, I will become President Emeritus and University Professor at Adelphi and begin a one-year sabbatical leave. During this year, I will serve as an Allen Room Scholar at the New York Public Library and finish my book on leadership and ethics. In addition, I have been invited to lecture at the Rothemere American Institute at Oxford University. I have some other opportunities under consideration, but my first priority is to prepare to return to Adelphi to teach in the fall of 2016.
Thank you for your support, friendship, and love. Knowing that scholarships will be awarded in my name to academically-qualified yet financially-needy students means the world to me. I will be forever grateful for your kindness and generosity.
During the next weeks, I will send more news and additional perspective on the importance of scholarships.
Again, thank you.