Early in January, I announced that effective June 30, 2012, I will be retiring from the presidency of Kendall College of Art and Design. At the time I retire, I will have completed eighteen years at Kendall. During the last months of those eighteen years, I have decided to stay in touch with anyone who cares to be in touch with me through this blog. When I started at Kendall on June 6, 1994—the Monday following Festival in Grand Rapids—I knew no one—or almost no one—at the College; and even when I presided over my first commencement the following May, I still knew relatively few of the graduates and even fewer of the alums. Over the past seventeen and a half years, I have had the chance to get to know many more people—alumni, significant friends of Kendall, and, of course, students, faculty, and staff. And I am fortunate to have the chance to visit with such people in person, online, through email, or over the phone. The blog will be my chance to celebrate many people. It will also let me share my ideas and attitudes about Kendall, which I think is a very special school, one that provides the professional world of art and design with an education that is accessible and diverse, an education that leads to potentially transformative experiences, an education that prepares people to drive collaboration, innovation, efficiency, and productivity—an education where “theory meets practice.” If that sounds too much of a public relations gambit, I promise to demonstrate precisely what I mean in future posts.
In short, this blog will let me talk about Kendall in a very selfish way—in terms of my pleasure in having been associated with Kendall and in seeing what people achieve. And so in beginning to write this blog, I am excited by the prospect of reconnecting with people I know and of meeting people I do not yet know. And with networking being so important in today’s world, perhaps people reading the blog will connect in new ways with one another as well.