Letter from the Board: The Impact of Our Faculty
At our May meeting, the Board of Trustees asked a panel of faculty, representative of each academic division, to join us and participate in a dialogue to deepen our understanding of the work and lives of our faculty members. The Trustees, including myself, left the conversation with even greater respect for our faculty and the work that they do each day.
The genuine commitment our professors make to their students—both in their academic pursuits as well as their personal lives and co-curricular activities on campus—is truly impressive. Through this conversation, the Trustees began to understand how much teaching is done outside of the classroom. We were impressed, to say the least, and gained a new appreciation and understanding for the amount of time and energy necessary to prepare to teach both inside and outside the classroom.
Lifelong learning is something we strive to instill in our students during the Gettysburg College experience. Our faculty model this behavior and are lifelong learners themselves. We especially appreciated the honest anecdotes about students’ questions that periodically catch faculty off guard and force them to think carefully to find answers. This is a true demonstration of the type of classroom environment that is ripe for learning. The faculty’s energy and excitement about teaching are contagious, and many of the Trustees were in awe of what our students experience in the classroom.
We also heard about the rewards—and sometimes challenges—that come from their roles as advisors and mentors to their students. We know that students thrive when they have a strong mentor network, and it is clear that the faculty who spoke with us take the role of mentor and advisor quite seriously. Each faculty member who spoke to us was investing time to assist students in personal lives, thus enabling learning to occur.
Our faculty also expressed a serious desire for their teaching to align with the mission of the College and the liberal arts. In addition, they shared a unifying and refreshing focus on instilling qualities that will prepare our students for the world they will inherit and also shape.
Finally, we appreciated the faculty’s comments on diversity and inclusion. We understand that it is an area the faculty know is vital. It was clear that they are committed to making the campus an environment where all students feel fully welcomed and embraced and can have the opportunity to thrive.
Gettysburg is fortunate to have these talented professionals to lead our students. They are creating graduates who are independent thinkers prepared for whatever lies ahead. We appreciate the pride they take in their work, in the college, and especially in their students.
— The Board of Trustees of Gettysburg College
David Brennan ’75, P’00 Chair