Today is my final day as Transylvania’s 27th president. As Lucy and I say farewell to our beloved Transylvania community amid the global pandemic and protests for social justice, we have reflected on what an incredible year this has been for us as Transylvania’s president and first lady. We have learned a lot.
Since last August, we have engaged with alumni, faculty, staff and students to support the Transy academic mission. We have enjoyed meeting our students on campus and seeing them grow in their quest for their chosen degrees and their life’s purpose. We also appreciated many wonderful campus athletic contests, concerts, exhibits, theater and lecture events. At our May Transylvania Virtual Commencement with the Class of 2020, I extended my message to our graduates based on our campus theme of resilience. Oh my, how timely!
Earlier today we heard from President-Designate Brien Lewis, and I thank him for his kind words of appreciation for Dean Mike Cairo and me. Dean Cairo has been an essential partner with me throughout this year. I am deeply grateful and thank him for his wisdom, leadership and unwavering service to Transylvania University’s academic mission.
Wow, I am excited for Transy’s future! I have had the opportunity to get to know our 28th president and first lady, Brien and Laura Lewis, as they are poised to embark on their Transylvania leadership journey that begins tomorrow. Brien comes as an experienced president. He understands the job, has great ideas and is enthusiastic about leading Transylvania boldly in the 21st century as a liberal arts institution. There are challenges to be sure, but I see new opportunities for all of us to lend our support.
So, we come to say farewell with much gratitude for your support and encouragement this past year. Thanks to all the people at Transylvania University who are so dedicated to our institution and its mission. We see the central importance of the liberal arts addressing the biological and social challenges of our day. We see a better future.
With gratitude and excitement for the years ahead,
John N. Williams ’74
27th President of Transylvania University
Lucy Sims Williams ’74