As I reach the end of my first semester as president, I would
like to thank the many individuals—students, alumni, parents,
faculty, staff, and community supporters—who have so warmly
welcomed me and my wife, Jeri, into the Stevenson community.
This experience has given me a rich view of Stevenson’s history and values. It is
evident that Stevenson’s historical connection to Villa Julie College’s student-
focused mission and communal ethos is firmly fixed in the hearts and minds of
Recently, during our annual luncheon to honor our long-serving employees,
retiring faculty member and VJC alumna Chris Roberts said, “As the acorn is in
the oak, Villa Julie is in Stevenson University.” This is a powerful message—our
history and traditions are part of our present and we, in turn, will bequeath
these values to those who succeed us.
As we remember our past, we also celebrate our present and look ahead to
a bright future. On our website and in our publications, we are describing the
excitement of Stevenson University.
We are a community centered on student success where students have
exceptional experiences and create a connection to their future careers.
As I have spoken with students, alumni, staff, and faculty during the past six
months, it became abundantly clear that these are the qualities that brought
them to Stevenson. You will see our focus on student success, exceptional
experiences, and career development reflected in this issue of Ventures as we
share some of the university’s most recent developments. These developments
include the growth of our Service, Leadership, and Honors Scholars programs
to support student success; a renovation of Garrison Hall’s facilities that will
support exceptional experiences; and new Professional Minors that will create
connections to career pathways.
Last, but certainly not least, this Ventures includes our Honor Roll of Donors.
This annual recognition reflects the strength of our community. The gifts of
so many individuals, foundations, and corporations demonstrate that our
communal values continue to tie us together, extending beyond both the years
and the miles that sometimes separate us. I know that everyone at Stevenson
joins me in thanking all of you for your continued support and wishing you the
best in the year to come.
Elliot L. Hirshman, Ph.D.