Fall 2023 Welcome from President Marcus-Newhall

Dear Scripps College Community Members,

It is my great honor to welcome you to the 2023–24 academic year!

As someone who has served Scripps for more than 30 years—as a professor, associate dean of faculty, dean of faculty, interim president, and now as president—I’m looking forward to meeting our new community members and continuing to engage with our returning students, faculty, and staff during my first full academic year in this new role.

I’m excited to share the following recent College news, updates, and announcements:

Campus News

New Community Members

Please join me in welcoming our new students, faculty, and staff to Scripps! I enjoyed meeting our first-year and transfer students last week and witnessing their enthusiasm for the year ahead. I look forward to their contributions to our Scripps community.


The College will celebrate my inauguration as the 11th president of Scripps College on Friday, September 8. The ceremony will include a tree planting, community reception, and an official investiture—and, in our usual celebratory Scripps fashion, dinner and dancing! Please visit the College’s website for additional details and to RSVP by September 1. I hope to see many of you there!

Academic Convocation

In lieu of Academic Convocation, a ceremony to herald the new academic year, I encourage you to join us Thursday, September 7 on Elm Tree Lawn for a community lunch. This new tradition will provide an opportunity to welcome new faculty and staff and to celebrate our remarkable community. An email invitation was sent last week and a reminder will go out today.

The Nucleus

Construction continues on The Nucleus, the state-of-the-art, 65,000-square-foot science building, on schedule to open in fall 2024. The Facilities Department will continue to send updates on construction hours and progress throughout the year. Visit the Nucleus site to learn more about the initiative.

The Community Engagement and Partnership Center

I am pleased to report that Scripps was awarded $500,000 by the Fletcher Jones Foundation to create The Community Engagement and Partnership Center. We have received an additional $150,000 in matching gift commitments from individual donors who were inspired by the impact of the Center’s collaborations between faculty, students, and community organizations. This center will become the hub to fortify our existing community engagement work across all disciplines, while emphasizing our interdisciplinary approach, supporting course-based community engagement opportunities that will benefit our students’ academic pursuits, and prepare them for a post-graduation world.

Scripps Access Initiative

Last fall, the College announced a $30 million, 10-year matching gift challenge from the Schuler Foundation to increase enrollment of students with limited financial resources (Pell-eligible) and students with undocumented status who are ineligible for federal student aid at top liberal arts colleges in the US. Regrettably, we have been informed that, due to market conditions, the Schuler Foundation has indefinitely postponed adding the second cohort of schools (including Scripps) to the Schuler Access Initiative. The Schuler Foundation has been a champion for Pell-eligible and first-generation students for more than 20 years and they hope to partner with Scripps in the future.

Despite this news, the College remains committed to expanding financial aid to provide the transformative opportunity of a Scripps education for all students—especially those with the greatest need. Through the Scripps Access Initiative, we have continued to fundraise toward our original goal and the Scripps community has already stepped up with more than $2 million in gifts and pledges. I am grateful to those who have launched this effort through their generosity, especially Chalan Colby ’61 who has issued a $1 million matching challenge to inspire fellow Scripps community members. Please join her by making your gift or pledge today.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ)

I encourage you to engage with the College’s DEIJ efforts, such as student and faculty fellowships, Scripps Communities of Resources and Empowerment (SCORE) programming, and IDEA Initiative partnerships.

We are currently inviting applicants for the Committee on Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (CIDE), a committee of students, faculty, and staff who develop recommendations for improving College policies and practices that have an impact on equity and access. Applications to CIDE should be submitted through this form by September 12.

College Events

Scripps Presents recently launched its fall 2023 season of big names, thoughtful conversations, and interactive performances. Along with the popular Levitt on the Lawn and @Noon Lunchtime series, this season’s lineup features three new miniseries that explore film, politics and activism, and sports and wellness. Scripps Presents is also highlighting faculty, student, and alumnae conversations, showcasing the College’s contributions to leadership and critical thought on important current issues.

I encourage you to explore the College’s many exhibitions and events held on campus this fall, including the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery’s fall exhibition, “Gettin’ It Done,” now through October 15; the Humanities Institute, led by Martha Gonzalez, associate professor of Chicanx/Latinx studies and director of the institute, will host collaborative arts project FandangObon on Bowling Green at noon on September 13; and the Clark Humanities Museum is featuring “YOKAI: Scenes of the Supernatural in Japanese Woodblock Prints,” today through September 25.

Additional information about College events can be found on the events calendar.

Community Health and Safety

The College continues to prioritize the health and safety of its campus community members. The COVID-19 Working Group, established last fall, has been sending regular updates on the College’s COVID-19 policies and protocols; all messages to the community can be viewed in our newsroom. For any COVID-19 related questions, submit them via this form and a staff member will respond in a timely manner.

I wish you all a fall semester filled with enlightening discoveries, new friendships, and endless opportunities.

Incipit Vita Nova,

Amy Marcus-Newhall