Welcome Message from President Lara Tiedens

Dear Scripps College Community Members,

It has been my great pleasure to welcome students, faculty, staff, alumnae, families, and friends to campus as we begin the 2016­-17 academic year. The first days of fall semester are always exhilarating—reunions with old friends happen alongside farewells to families, new experiences intersect with familiar places and routines, and excitement about different opportunities mixes with apprehension about finding time to explore them all. This year is particularly special for me, as it marks the beginning of my term as the ninth president of Scripps College and my introduction to the Scripps experience.

Scripps continues to enhance the academic, fiscal, and environmental strength of our campus and build on the momentum of recent years. As we begin the semester, I would like to welcome new members of our community, acknowledge progress on key summer projects, and highlight ongoing strategic initiatives:

New Students, Faculty, and Staff

As a new member of the Scripps community, I identify with the new students, faculty, and staff who are getting acclimated to campus, arranging their offices, and finding their way around Claremont. New students and families completed a full schedule of orientation programming August 29, and I invite you to join me in welcoming our 270 first-year and 19 transfer students as they settle into their residence halls, turn their focus to academics, and begin to get acquainted with the remarkable community to which they now belong.

I also invite you to join me in welcoming the 11 new tenure track faculty members who have joined the College this year. They are the largest cohort of new faculty in quite some time, and their impact on our community will be positive and significant.

The College has the privilege of welcoming the following new tenure track faculty members this academic year: Gabriela Bacsan, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Latin American, and Caribbean Literatures and Cultures; Nayana Bose, Assistant Professor of Economics; Lahnna Catalino, Assistant Professor in Psychology; Wendy Cheng, Assistant Professor of American Studies; Findley Finseth, Assistant Professor of Biology; Marino Forlino, Assistant Professor of Italian; Jenna Monroy, Assistant Professor of Biology; Tessie Prakas, Assistant Professor of English; Maryan Soliman, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies; Kevin Vennemann, Assistant Professor of German; Carlin Wing, Assistant Professor of Media Studies. These impressive teacher-scholars will be tremendous assets to the academic life of the campus.

Learn more about the new faculty.

Effective August 1, Amy Marcus-Newhall returned to her role as vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, and I am grateful for her ongoing counsel and leadership in that role.

New staff members joining Scripps this fall include Jamilla Jamison in enrollment, Tiffany Mendez in financial aid, Jennifer Shipley at the Sallie Tiernan Field House, and Juliette Cagigas, Samuel Ledadom, and Arabella Richardson in institutional advancement. Please join me in welcoming them to our community.

2015-16 Fundraising Results

The College recorded its largest year of overall giving since 2010, with $14.6 million in cash gifts, and the largest ever Scripps Fund (our annual giving program) total at $3.66 million. Fundraising totals for our campaign, More Scripps: The Campaign for Scripps College, grew by $12 million; to date, the College has secured $128 million of the $175 million fundraising goal.

This year’s Weekend of Giving fundraising drive surpassed 1,000 gifts, representing one for each Scripps undergraduate. The College will continue to promote the importance of alumnae giving to Scripps as we focus on reversing the decline in overall participation rates.

Facilities and Grounds

NEW Hall, Scripps’ newest residence hall, is open and welcomed its first student residents. The NEW Hall project includes a new solar power system, an essential feature in the building’s LEED Gold designation.

Continuing the College’s commitment to a sustainable future, installation of a new roof and solar power panels on Garrison Theater have been completed and will be operational later in the academic year. A new outdoor community space just south of the Rose Garden, featuring an herb and vegetable garden, outdoor seating, and barbecue area, is ready for use.

Core I Theme

This semester marks the beginning of a new Core I theme, “community.” Students and faculty will wrestle with questions such as, “How do we define a community?” “Why do we need communities?” and “How do communities function?”

Interdisciplinary in nature, Core I courses will explore topics in the humanities, the sciences, and the arts to explore the ways in which community has been conceptualized and represented historically.

Scripps 360°

The Class of 2020 will be the first to participate in Scripps 360°, the Office of Student Affairs’ dynamic and comprehensive first-year experience program.

The initiative will introduce new and innovative co-curricular programs to help students successfully navigate Scripps and The Claremont Colleges (TCC) upon their arrival on campus. Students’ well-being and success are primary goals of Scripps 360°, as is the cultivation of a vibrant and inclusive community.

Inclusive Excellence

The Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Access initiative (IDEA) will build on the past two years’ progress toward creating a more inclusive climate on campus with a new set of workshops and programs: ConverActions on the National Climate on Race, Community, and Change, and What’s the “T”?: Supporting Trans and Non-Binary Students.

ConverActions on the National Climate on Race, Community, and Change is a yearlong program that will incorporate public programs, community conversations, and civic engagement opportunities to cultivate an awareness and understanding of experiences that differ from our own as well as identify strategies for action and change. I hope you will take advantage of these unique and valuable opportunities to strengthen our community by reinforcing its core values. What’s the “T”?: Supporting Trans and Non-Binary Students is a workshop in which participants will learn current language around gender and gender identities, information about trans protections under Title IX, and some ways to best support trans and non-binary people.

90th Anniversary Celebration

Scripps College celebrates its 90th anniversary this academic year by acknowledging the collective contributions, achievements, and impact of our students, faculty, staff, alumnae, parents, and friends throughout Scripps’ history

Over the course of the year, the College will sponsor various activities to engage the community in recognizing this historic milestone. I encourage you to participate by adding your stories to the rich narrative that defines Scripps’ legacy of educational excellence and leadership and inspires the next generation of women leaders.

I would like to thank the faculty and staff whose diligence and oversight resulted in significant progress on key initiatives and high-priority projects over the past few months. I wish you a stimulating and productive fall semester.


Lara Tiedens