Spring 2018 Community Update

Dear Members of the Scripps Community,

Happy New Year! Welcome back to campus, and for those of you who are new to the Scripps community, welcome. I hope you had a peaceful and restorative winter break and were able to spend some quality time with family, friends, and loved ones. As we begin a new semester, I’d like to provide the following campus news and updates.

New Appointments
Please join me in congratulating Professor Amy Marcus-Newhall, who will continue in her role as vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty for a five-year term to begin July 1, 2018. I am grateful that she will continue to serve the College in this important role. It is also a pleasure to introduce our next associate dean of faculty, Professor of Biology Jennifer Armstrong, effective July 1, 2018. Our community has benefited tremendously from the distinguished service of Associate Dean of Faculty Gretchen Edwalds-Gilbert, and I appreciate her steady leadership as a steward of academic excellence over the past six years.

Tenure-track faculty searches are currently underway for the following academic departments: Art, Biophysics, Disease Biology, Economics, French, Microbiology, and Spanish, Latin American and Caribbean Literatures and Cultures.

Awards and Achievements
Scripps College has nominated Lina Mihret ’18, Madeline Sy ’18, and Ilana Weisberg ’18 as finalists for Thomas J. Watson Fellowships. This selection puts them in the running for the prestigious grant, awarded annually to 50 students out of hundreds of graduating seniors. This is just one of many examples of Scripps students leading in academicsathletics, and in the community. I encourage you to visit the Scripps College newsroom to learn more about their extraordinary accomplishments.

More Scripps Campaign Highlights
More Scripps continues to gain momentum as it heads into the remaining six months of its five-year span. I am thrilled to announce that the College received a $3.1 million gift from Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler ’72, designated to establish an endowed faculty chair in architecture and art history and to support the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery. Gabrielle’s sustained and generous support for Scripps has transformed the campus, strengthened academic programs, and expanded educational opportunities for many students. Gabrielle completed her final term on the Board last year, and this is a beautiful way to demarcate the end of her long service as a trustee. She continues to be among our most loyal and devoted supporters, for which the College is extraordinarily grateful.

This year, I launched the Presidential Endowed Scholarship Initiative to replace loans with grants for the highest-need students and their families and to stabilize loan amounts for more students. I would like to acknowledge the leadership of trustees Ellen Clark Brown, Deborah David ’72, Libby Greig DeMeo ’95, Carolyn Revelle, Bob Sacks P’14, and Linden Wise P’18 for their support of the initiative, as well as a number of Scripps families who have established named scholarships that will advance our aspirations to provide no-loan financial aid packages to more students. I am gratified by the generosity of the many trustees, alumnae, parents, and staff who have been inspired to support scholarships, faculty research, and campus programs that enrich our academic community and advance the College’s mission.

Strategic Plan Progress
Based on community feedback from the strategic planning workshops and survey conducted this past fall, the Strategic Planning Team has advanced four themes: Inclusive Student Success, Mission-Driven Outreach, Distinctive Identity, and Innovative Learning Organization. Each theme team is co-chaired by a Scripps faculty and senior staff member, and there has been a great level of enthusiasm by all who have participated in the planning process so far. Theme teams are comprised of approximately 30 students, faculty, and staff who have invested more than 25 collective hours this past semester to develop transformative initiatives that will bring the community’s vision for Scripps to life. The community owes these dedicated individuals a debt of gratitude for their work. Plans are underway for another community engagement event in April, and I look forward to continued thought-provoking and creative conversations as we shape the College’s future together.

Posthumous Degree Policy 
In December, the Board of Trustees approved the establishment of a posthumous degree policy for Scripps College, as recommended by the faculty. Eligibility for the Scripps College Posthumous Degree will be determined based on criteria including the student’s academic standing and amount of work completed toward the degree, and approval will follow the same procedure as all degrees awarded. This new policy will be a means to recognize and honor students and bring closure to families and our community in the event of a student’s death.

Financial Aid Office Relocation
The Office of Financial Aid moved into its new home in Balch Hall over winter break. The location has been upgraded to offer more space, privacy, and convenience for students and families and to facilitate easier communication with other student-serving offices in the center of campus. Additionally, Financial Aid will launch its new website this month. The redesigned site has been streamlined to highlight the information most requested by students and families as they navigate financial aid application and re-application processes.

Campus and Community Events
The College has curated a diverse roster of public and community events this spring. Scripps Presents, the Humanities Institute, the Hartley Burr Alexander Chair in the Humanities, and the Intercollegiate Feminist Center are just a few of the sponsors of upcoming conversations with comedian Tig Notaro, choreographer Liz Lerman, Pussyhat Project founder Krista Suh, and novelists Colm TóibínOttessa MoshfeghYaa Gyasi, and Rachel Kushner, among others. These programs highlight just some of Scripps’ wide-ranging scholarly and cultural interests and are open to the campus, The Claremont Colleges, and Los Angeles regional communities. I hope to see you at some of these events! Check out the complete spring schedule on the Scripps calendar.

Off campus, I look forward to meeting many alumnae and parents at the Unleashing Potential regional events in Chicago, Pasadena, San Francisco, and New York this spring. These events are among the highlights of the year for me, as several of our bright and passionate students, alumnae, and faculty will share their scholarly pursuits and research, providing a rich opportunity for learning and engagement. I’d like to thank all who attended the fall events, and I welcome the opportunity to meet with more of you this spring. Please be on the lookout for more information about future events and how you can join us.

I look forward to a new semester of continued learning, achievement, and growth for all of us, and I wish you a season of renewal and new beginnings at Scripps.

Incipit Vita Nova,


Lara Tiedens