From big city slicker to small-town college president and from Ivy League prestige to liberal arts Mennonite prestige, Dr. Rebecca Stoltzfus is the new thing on campus.She’s like the shamrock shake, but actually here to stay! And without the Irish part!
Interim President Ken Newbold will be stepping aside but will stay close behind the scenes, close enough to keep a watchful eye on Goshen and fulfill his duties as governmental watchdog for the CIA.
President Stoltzfus is a graduate of Goshen College, so she is already rather familiar with the campus. That being said I would like to clarify that yes, the Newcomer building is a part of Goshen College despite it being so far away, but it’s okay because we just stuck the Business department there.
One of the primary reasons Rebecca was such a strong candidate for the position was her background in nutrition. There have been a couple competing theories why exactly nutrition was such a good background. Some argued this was a move to “guide the hand of Chef Jeremy Corson.” Another theory involved the potential this background had to expand the fields of science we’re exploring and improve the classes that are being offered. Others argued, “You don’t need a PhD in nutrition to improve Goshen’s required health and wellness course.”
Regardless the reason, Dr. Stoltzfus’ strong background in science and research will prove useful to Goshen College one way or another. The first research project she will be conducting is whether Goshen’s mascot is a leaf or a squirrel.
This week in convocation, President Stoltzfus offered encouraging words to the students. She said something like, “Sometimes you work really hard and don’t learn much… and other times you don’t work really hard and you don’t learn much.” I know the first half of that sentence was said, but I don’t remember if that second part was said because I got distracted by Ben Meyer Reimer’s absurdly long torso that put his head a full 12 inches above every other person there.
After her speech, there was a Q&A session.
One of the first questions asked was about how we should address her, or if she has a preferred name. President Becky graciously answered she did not have a preference. Rebecca challenged the student body in many ways in her speech, but the one challenge we must take to heart from this chapel is to address her in as many creative ways as possible until one nickname sticks. After all, we must be faithful and take the words our president says literally. Maybe we find out she’s really good at chess then Grandmaster Rebecca has a nice ring to it. Or maybe if she has superior social media presence to her peers, I think Becky the techie would be appropriate. I think her strong charismatic aura might lead to a nickname of Hypnosis Stoltzfus.
Coming to Goshen in November is really difficult, you’ve missed the best part of fall and Goshen weather is only downhill from here. The only thing to look forward to is potential snow days, launching snowballs across campus, and getting up later than the students that work at phys plant and have to clear the snow.
Unfortunately, we won’t be drilling a hole in the ice to dunk the new president, so the tradition has been postponed to a later date.
Rebecca will officially be inaugurated in February, and despite the collective nationwide inaugural PTSD we’ve experienced, I encourage everyone to come out and support her!