From the President

As you read this column, Sarah Lawrence is settling into the rhythms of the semester. Students are immersed in seminars, conference work is under way, the leaves are turning, and the days are shortening. I, too, am settling in, having just become your president on August 1. As I continue to unpack at the President’s House, I feel a kinship especially with the Class of 2021. Together we are discovering beloved landmarks, meeting new people, making new friends, finding our way.

Transitions are in equal measure exciting and hard, moments of bidding farewell while also saying hello and Here we go! I arrive on campus at a time of tremendous momentum for the College, inspired by Ahead of the Curve: The Campaign for Sarah Lawrence and the impact it will have on our future, and grateful for the generosity of those who support it. I also join the Sarah Lawrence community at a time of potent challenges for American higher education. I arrived at the College well aware of Sarah Lawrence’s history of confronting pressing social issues, and in that spirit we have taken the theme of Democracy and Education as the focus of this inaugural year. Drawing its title and inspiration from John Dewey’s landmark 1916 book—a work whose concerns almost a century ago were instrumental in the founding philosophy of the College—we are building a yearlong series of events that will engage and explore this theme from many vantage points in order to gain not only a greater understanding of Sarah Lawrence’s past and present, but also to chart its future and that of American higher education. Watch the Sarah Lawrence website over the coming months as these important discussions unfold.

In this issue, you’ll see the traces of a conversation I recently had with writing faculty member Vijay Seshadri. Our free-flowing exchange whetted my appetite for what lies ahead as my experience of Sarah Lawrence grows, and it gave me a taste of the vibrant relationship our students and faculty enjoy. I come to Sarah Lawrence with a great appreciation for the transformational power of its educational model and a deep commitment, above all else, to protect and further the Sarah Lawrence experience at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

“I come to Sarah Lawrence with a great appreciation for the transformational power of its educational model and a deep commitment, above all else, to protect and further the Sarah Lawrence experience at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.”

My thanks to the team behind Sarah Lawrence for finding wry and witty ways to introduce me to you in this issue, incorporating hints of my roots in small-town Texas, an academic journey that has taken me around the world, and a few tidbits about my husband and our three daughters, who you will see as you encounter our family on campus.

While I hope this issue of the magazine helps you begin to know me, I am even more excited to get to know you, the Sarah Lawrence community, personally and deeply in the coming weeks and months. When you are on campus I hope you will say hello and introduce yourself, and I look forward to seeing you at events both here and around the country.

President Cristle Collins Judd

Cristle Collins Judd, President