Recap of my experience at the Fall BOT meeting

Greetings from your new Alumni Board president! I hope with this blog to have a conversation with all of you – my fellow alums. I want to share with you what I see and hear when I am on campus, and I want to hear about your many and varied experiences as one of about 18,000 College of Wooster alumni.

Earlier this month, I attended my first Board of Trustee meetings as Alumni Board President. The Board of Trustees, the governing body of the College, is comprised of 43 members and meets three times a year. The Alumni Board president attends as an observer.

I was impressed with the many changes and improvements to the campus and the Board’s commitment to improve the lives of our students – both during their tenure on campus, and following their graduation from the College. Here is just a small slice of what is new on campus:

APEX (Advising, Planning, and Experiential Learning) was the focus of our Friday evening program. During a reception in the newly renovated space in Gault Library, the APEX team gave an overview of the key elements of this integrated, intentional approach to student advising throughout a student’s four years at Wooster. I urge you to learn more about this innovative approach to learning for Wooster students.

Here is a link to more information:

The Class of ’62 deserves special kudos for creating the seed endowment fund to support APEX Fellowships, which are funded opportunities that offer structure and mentored support to students engaged in summer internships or vocational exploration programs. President Cornwell wrote that “APEX Fellowships are a strong signal of Wooster’s seriousness of purpose in helping students translate the value of their education into a trajectory beyond graduation.”

During the dinner that followed, three Wooster students talked about the opportunities that Wooster afforded them as they explored and defined their aspirations, putting their ideas to work in the world.

I invite you to learn more about this new approach to learning. Please check out this new initiative, become informed, and compare it with your own experience. Lastly, please stay engaged with the College.

The next day, during the full board meeting, the board voted to appoint three new trustees.

Jim DeRose, Jr.’72 currently is the CEO of DeRose Partners, LLC, a management consulting firm. Jim has had a distinguished and varied business career, including positions as president of Mattel USA, Sarah Lee, and DreamWorks.

Leslie Simcox Hudson holds a doctorate in epidemiology and is the parent of a current Wooster student.

Jeffrey Lee Keefer ‘74 rose from product manager to executive vice president and chief financial officer of E.I DuPont de Nemours and Co. before retiring in 2010. He continues to consult for the company part-time.

On Saturday, there was a great sense of collegiality and Wooster spirit at the pre-game tailgate party, which included Trustees, members of the Class of 2013 and the Class of 1963. I am happy to report that the Wooster Fighting Scots football team was victorious against Hiram.

On Sunday, I witnessed the first-ever Wooster Highland Games on a most perfect autumnal day. Approximately 125 bagpipers and drummers gathered on campus to compete in the Eastern U.S. Pipe Band Association’s competition Wooster proved its piping excellence with at least two first place awards.

All in all, the meetings and events represented wonderful examples of the work done at Wooster day after day, year after year. From the stellar students to the extraordinary board members, from the momentum-building initiatives to the displays of Scot spirit, Wooster is obviously on a purposeful trajectory under strong leadership. I invite you to learn more, visit, check out the website, and attend events so you, too, can see our Wooster and its future. Most of all, I look forward to many conversations with you.

-David Gilliss ‘80


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