Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

WU News

DeniseWelcome, President Thorsett!

There’s an inherent excitement – and a bit of trepidation – in something new. Will it be all that was hoped for, living up to expectations perceived and communicated? How will we handle the change?

I’d venture to say that new university presidents are no different. Having just welcomed ours on July 1 – who qualifies for the “all-we-hoped-for-and-could-have-anticipated” category, by the way – it’s clear that it’s not an easy gig.

Much time and focus has been spent on preparing the campus and individual departments. Reams of information have been gathered, collated and bound in snazzy presentations. Meetings and events have been scheduled, trainings carried out and preparations for a spring inauguration are in the works. But as we all busily prepared for our new president, it occurred to me that it’s probably pretty tricky if you’re the ‘new’ element yourself. Those reams of information were prepared in a context you don’t yet have; the number of people you meet in a day is dizzying and your schedule looks like that of rock star promoting a new album.  It’s definitely not an easy gig.

Yet, with all that, President Steve Thorsett has settled on campus and brilliantly managed to reach out to alumni, friends, parents, Salem and the campus community — all with an ease that seems to belie the brevity of his time here so far.

In this case, the what’s new is definitely very impressive. The energy and excitement are contagious — I can’t wait until it reaches each and every one of you. Go Bearcats!

Denise Crawford Signature

Denise Callahan '95, MBA'00
Senior Director of Alumni Relations