“Now is the time for Randolph-Macon” reverberated throughout Blackwell Auditorium as R-MC’s 15th President Robert R. Lindgren offered a compelling vision for the future of Randolph-Macon College and the liberal arts educational experience.
A standing-room-only crowd of more than 650 people gathered as President Lindgren was inaugurated at 2 p.m. on Friday, October 27. Those present to witness President Lindgren’s Inauguration included three R-MC past presidents, Dr. Luther W. White III ’47, R-MC’s 12th president, Dr. C. Ladell Payne, R-MC’s 13th president, and Dr. Roger H. Martin, R-MC’s 14th president. This marked a historic moment for the college as this likely is the only occasion in Randolph-Macon history when four presidents have been on stage at the same time.
Richmond Mayor and former Governor L. Douglas Wilder; the Honorable L. Preston Bryant Jr., Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources; Lafayette College President Daniel W. Weiss; Ashland Mayor Faye O. Prichard; Johns Hopkins University President Dr. William R. Brody; George Mason University President Dr. Alan G. Merten; presidents and delegates from colleges and universities around the state and nation; and members of Randolph-Macon’s Board of Trustees also joined students, faculty, staff, parents and alumni for this historic occasion. More than 40 members of President Lindgren’s family and personal friends from throughout the country also were present.
President Lindgren pledged to strengthen the college’s operating budget to levels commensurate with the college’s academic aspirations and dreams; to boost salaries and resources for faculty and staff members, enabling them to continue to do their jobs at the highest level; to provide additional scholarship and financial aid to attract and retain the best students; and to launch one of the most ambitious capital campaigns in R-MC history.
“Randolph-Macon is among the most selective, residential liberal arts colleges in America and among the very best true liberal arts colleges in the Commonwealth,” Lindgren affirmed. “Our goal is to be a leader in all that we do; all the while ensuring that the liberal arts education we offer remains the best educational experience for undergraduates anywhere in the world. Randolph-Macon must lead.”
Later that same evening, more than 600 members of the R-MC and surrounding communities joined together for a special Inauguration Dinner, held in the college’s Brock Recreation Center. During the dinner, John A. Luke Jr., the Chairman and CEO of MeadWestvaco in Richmond, served as the guest speaker and Andrew Banks, a personal friend of President Lindgren’s, gave a heartwarming toast.
President Lindgren’s Inauguration Ceremony was the culmination of a week-long celebration of activities at Randolph-Macon. President Lindgren hosted a special reception for more than 300 students Tuesday, October 24, in his home and, on Wednesday, October 25, he hosted a breakfast for close to 80 R-MC faculty and staff members. The Jazz Composers Alliance performed Wednesday, October 25, and the Richmond Symphony Woodwind Quintet performed Thursday, October 26. The final event took place Sunday, October 29, when Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church held a special church service in President Lindgren’s honor. During the service, William T. Franz, interim dean of the college and chair of the Inauguration Steering Committee, gave the sermon.
“My college, your college, our college has, for more than 175 years, produced community and civic leaders, educators, ministers, captains of industry, and other business professionals who have gone forward and educated and inspired to make our Commonwealth and our nation a better, more productive place.”
The Honorable L. Preston Bryant Jr. ’86, Secretary of Natural Resources, Commonwealth of Virginia
“In Robert Lindgren, we see someone who will…honor Randolph-Macon’s history with forward thinking, invite collegiality while listening to diverse views, and bring energy and passion to the important charge of leading our nationally ranked college into the future.”
Mary Polce-Lynch, Assistant Director of Career Counseling and Staff Representative
“Any institution that has only had 15 presidents in that period of time (176 years) has got be congratulated and likewise, you’ve got to be proud of that history.
L. Douglas Wilder, Mayor, City of Richmond and former Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia
“President Lindgren, you are Randolph-Macon College. And just as each member of the George Mason community is George Mason University, each member of this community is Randolph-Macon College.”
Dr. Alan G. Merten, President, George Mason University
“Connections are what tie our alma mater and our alumni. Add to those connections the spirit of engagement and that is what builds the Randolph- Macon of the future.”
Robert H. Patterson ’94, President, Society of Alumni
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