Board of Trustees Meeting

Tags Board Meeting Updates

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

On Friday, Dec. 3, the Board of Trustees held its annual winter meeting in New York City in conjunction with the 1812 Leadership Circle Weekend. Attendees were grateful to have the meeting in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic, although some trustees joined via Zoom.

The morning plenary featured a presentation on the College’s sustainability initiatives, including a discussion of moving the College’s carbon neutrality date from 2050 to 2030. A new Neutrality Strategy Working Group will provide its recommendation next spring. Thank you to Roger Wakeman, Brian Hansen, and Aaron Strong for presenting and for their leadership to update the Climate Action Plan (to be completed by May 2022) and the more comprehensive Sustainability Action Plan (to be completed by August 2022).

The Committees on Advancement and Investment met virtually in advance. The Committee on Buildings, Grounds, and Equipment met in person that morning and reviewed the Landscape Master Plan, an ongoing Residential Housing Study, the Energy Master Plan, and ongoing programming work for the Digital Gateway. The committee put forward two resolutions that were passed by the full board in the formal business meeting later in the day. The first authorizes the College to move forward with planned necessary renovations and renewals for the Bristol Pool, Sage Rink, and the Alumni Gymnasium roof. The second resolution approved an exception to the Rules of Interment in the College Cemetery to permit Joanne Shenandoah, a direct descendant of Chief Skenandoa, to be buried there. Her private burial took place on Tuesday, Dec. 7, and Dean of Faculty Suzanne Keen gave remarks on behalf of the College by invitation of the family.

Karen Leach gave a well-received presentation on budget planning in light of financial changes brought by the pandemic. At the formal board meeting, trustees approved an honorary doctorate for Chairman Emeritus Stephen I. Sadove ’73, which was conferred that evening at the 1812 dinner. More than $1.2 million has been raised to establish the Sadove Student Success Scholarship in his honor.

In my remarks, I updated trustees on pandemic planning, the continuing impact of labor shortages, and the need to fill several senior administrative positions. Trustees again expressed their appreciation for how hard everyone on campus has worked to support our students. I also shared that we are on track toward a record number of applications. If the numbers hold, this will result in another strong year for selectivity and the need to manage carefully new student enrollment given this year’s large first-year class. Last week we filled the first 25 seats in Hamilton’s Class of 2026 with another terrific cohort of QuestBridge students. From this cohort, 19 are U.S. students of color and one is a non-U.S. citizen, 72% are first generation to college, and 16 states are represented.

Ty Seidule, Chamberlain Fellow and visiting professor of history, joined at the end of the formal board meeting to share his experience teaching at Hamilton since fall 2020.

The next board meeting will be held on campus, March 4-5, 2022.


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