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Greeting from the Carleton Alumni Association

Dana Wright '95, president, Carleton Alumni Council
Saturday, September 25, 2010

On behalf of the more than 25,000 members of Carleton’s Alumni Association, it is an honor to be with you today as we celebrate the inauguration of Steven Poskanzer as the eleventh president of Carleton College.

Time spent in pursuit of higher education is understood to be transformative.  The exposure to new ideas, people and perspectives changes the way you see yourself, the world, and your place in it. That was certainly true of my student experience; but what I had not contemplated during my time at Carleton was that my years as an alumna could be equally as impactful. And they have been because of opportunities to stay connected with the college and with other alumni who – like Carleton students – are inquisitive and adventurous, honest and engaging, and generous in their support of the people and places most important to them.

Alumni are stewards of the college – as are many others – and Carleton has a history of significant alumni stewardship. They generously support college activities and priorities financially and with their time, expertise, and enthusiasm. They provide current and prospective students with information and advice, and create opportunities for fellow alums to meet, build relationships, and reconnect with the college. They also return to Carleton as members of the faculty and staff, trustees, and parents.

This summer I began a term as President of the Alumni Council – the body that represents Carleton’s alumni stewardship activities – and was grateful for an opportunity to meet our new president. Within minutes a few things were immediately evident: President Poskanzer’s commitment to liberal arts education, his willingness to seek out and learn from the experiences of others, and his obvious delight in having joined the Carleton community. And President Poskanzer understands and appreciates the affection alumni have for Carleton, as well as the current and potential ways we contribute to the character and health of the college.

I feel privileged to have been a student and equally privileged to be an alumna of an institution that values and actively encourages alumni to remain engaged in the day-to-day life – and future – of the college.

President Poskanzer, Carleton alumni welcome your leadership and we look forward to working with you in the years ahead. And we extend a special welcome to the Poskanzer family. As we celebrate with you today the words of former president Larry Gould seem particularly appropriate – “You are a part of Carleton, and Carleton is a part of you.”