President Haring-SmithWASHINGTON, PA (October 17, 2005)—Dedicated to renewing and growing Washington & Jefferson College's historic campus while honoring the rich tradition of an institution that was established more than two centuries ago, Dr. Tori Haring-Smith will be inaugurated as W&J's 12th president on Saturday, Oct. 22.
"It is an honor to serve Washington & Jefferson College—our students, our alumni, our faculty and our staff. I believe in this college, in its history and in the value of a liberal arts education," said Haring-Smith, who became president of W&J in January 2005. "We provide our students with the most practical of all educations—a liberal arts education that teaches them problem-solving, critical thinking, writing and speaking skills so they are prepared for multiple challenging careers during their lifetimes."
Inauguration activities begin with an interfaith service at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21 at First Presbyterian Church 1793 in Washington. The inauguration ceremony, which will be attended by delegates from colleges and universities across the country, begins at 12:45 p.m. on Oct. 22 in the Henry Memorial Center. A reception will follow at 3 p.m. in the Allen Ballroom of the Rossin Campus Center. A football game versus Presidents Athletic Conference-rival Bethany College begins at 7 p.m. Tickets for the game will be available at the gate.
"This event not only marks the formal beginning of my presidency, but it is also a celebration of Washington & Jefferson College and those who have led this incredible institution before me," Haring-Smith said. "The last few months have been a blur of activity, but during this time I have fallen in love with W&J as a place rich with history and blessed with an exceptionally dedicated faculty and staff—a place that is undergoing a period of rapid growth and momentum and is therefore poised to embrace a world of new possibilities."
Haring-Smith holds doctoral and master's degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College. Prior to coming to W&J, she was vice president for educational affairs at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. She also served Willamette as dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
The inauguration ceremony will include greetings from Dr. Carol Geary Schneider, president, Association of American Colleges and Universities; Dr. M. Lee Pelton, president, Willamette University; Dr. John Churchill, secretary, Phi Beta Kappa Society; and Kenneth S. Westcott, mayor, City of Washington.
Haring-Smith will also be joined by family and friends, including her husband Robert, a computer consultant and native of the Pittsburgh area; son Whitney, a student at Yale University; and her parents, Philip (who will represent Knox College as its delegate) and Jacqueline Haring.
"Growing up in a small town much like Washington and as the daughter of a faculty member at the small college in that town, I became passionate about small, residential liberal arts colleges. I saw how they worked up close—I lay awake at night listening to my parents and other faculty discuss world issues, I opened our front door to many a student who had walked three miles from campus to ask my father a life-changing question like how one decides to get married or whether it is wise to avoid the military draft by emigrating to Canada," Haring-Smith said. "Washington & Jefferson College is the same kind of place—a college in which faculty come to know their students as more than pupils in a classroom, but as individuals with life questions that also need to be answered."
During her presidency, Haring-Smith is focusing on bolstering W&J's already strong academic programs, achieving parity for faculty and staff salaries in comparison to those at other schools and supporting student life initiatives. Her immediate priorities include:
Increasing the size of the College's endowment, which provides financial stability to hire and retain faculty, attract the best students, provide programs and services and offer financial aid.
Pursuing much needed building projects, such as a new science building and a new recreation center.
Increasing diversity in the student and faculty body and encouraging more students to study abroad while also bringing more international students to campus.
Inauguration Weekend: Schedule of Events
Friday, October 21
4 p.m./First Presbyterian Church 1793, 100 E. Wheeling St., Washington, Pa.
Saturday, October 22
1 p.m./Henry Memorial Center
3 p.m./Allen Ballroom, Rossin Campus Center
Football Game: W&J vs. Bethany College
7 p.m./Cameron Stadium
Tickets available at the gate
For more information on Haring-Smith and her inauguration ceremony, or to view the Web cast of the ceremony the day of the event, visit www.washjeff.edu/inauguration.
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a national liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional liberal arts curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent student work.
For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.