Davidson in Bloom


Carol QuillenAnyone who has spent time on Davidson’s campus knows the joy brought by spring—flowers add color to redbrick paths, professors hold classes on a verdant Chambers lawn, and athletics teams practice under blue skies. The beauty of our community, which is undeniably present all year long, seems suddenly more vibrant. Springtime offers a welcome opportunity to reflect on this place we sustain and cherish.

Davidson’s culture is built upon the relationships between our people. Professors and coaches, staff members and alumni, fans and neighbors go out of their way to make Davidson a second home for our students—these are just a few of the relationships that create bonds among people and to this place. These bonds do not happen by accident. Rather, inspired by our mission to develop humane instincts and foster lives of leadership and service, Davidson people seek them out, putting the well-being of others ahead of personal gain. I witness this spirit every day, in profound acts of kindness and, simply, in the smiles of passersby.

Person-to-person relationships coalesce to form groups, classes and teams that yield exciting outcomes in the world. Labs publish award-winning research, students engage in long-lasting service programs or win funding to start new initiatives, and a wave of red-and-black clad fans floods arenas to cheer on our athletes as they win conference championships. When the many parts of our community unite behind a common purpose, we achieve truly remarkable things.

Many years after they’ve taken their last final exam in Chambers Building, our alumni around the world generate powerful and positive change in their communities. Young and old graduates gather for service projects, vaccines and medicines are distributed to citizens of developing nations, and the next generation of minds is cultivated through engagement programs and scholarship opportunities. The Davidson community, though spread across the globe, remains tightknit.

Our community couldn’t generate the impact it does without providing for future generations. The involvement of alumni in Davidson’s future is particularly important as we continue to make progress in the most ambitious campaign in the college’s history, Game Changers: Inspiring Leaders to Transform the World. Scholarships crucially pave the way for the entering classes of tomorrow and ensure that Davidson continues to serve talented students with diverse interests, experiences and perspectives.

If you have the opportunity to walk around campus this spring, I invite you to join me in reflecting on the remarkable network of relationships that makes Davidson special. There’s a fitting example, I think, in the creepy-crawly springtime apparitions we all know too well. Pests to some, cute critters to others, the little green worms are unavoidable. They’re practically invisible until they’ve hitched a ride on you and are wiggling a path across your shirt. Like these springtime guests, the Davidson community sometimes works imperceptibly, but at other times, is richly in bloom.


About Author

Carol Quillen

Davidson College President Carol Quillen has engaged the college community in reimagining the liberal arts experience within the changing landscape of higher education and an increasingly interconnected world. Quillen became the 18th president of Davidson College on Aug. 1, 2011.

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