Friday, June 20, 2003

Washington College Hosts Charity Croquet June 29

Chestertown, MD, June 20, 2003 —The Friends of Washington College's Miller Library will host a Croquet and Lawn Party at the Hynson-Ringgold House River Garden, Water and Cannon Streets in Chestertown, on Sunday, June 29 from 2 to 5 p.m. This event was originally scheduled for June 1 but was postponed because of the weather.
Demonstration and instruction in croquet rules, strategy and technique will be provided by the Quaker Neck Croquet Club starting at 2 p.m. Following the demonstration, party attendees are invited to play croquet with the club members. Light refreshments will be served.
The cost of the event is $20 per person and all proceeds will benefit the Maryland Collection of Washington College's Clifton M. Miller Library.
For information and tickets, please contact Nancy Nunn at 410-810-7139.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

John S. Toll Announces Plan To Step Down As President Of Washington College

Chestertown, MD, June 18, 2003 — Dr. John S. Toll, President of Washington College, announced Monday to the College's Board of Visitors and Governors that at the end of the 2003-2004 academic year he will be prepared to conclude his service as president, a position he has held since January 1995. During his sabbatical year of 2004-2005, Toll plans to continue as an advisor to the institution and to the Board as it installs a new president for the 221-year-old institution.
“As I approach my tenth year at Washington College, the time is appropriate for me to assess the College's future leadership requirements and my own plans and aspirations,” said Toll, who turns 80 this October. “I am enormously proud of what the College has achieved, and I wish to complete my term as President when the College is well positioned to achieve a successful transition to new leadership.”
“John Toll's period of leadership at Washington College will constitute its most successful decade in history,” said Jack S. Griswold, Chair of the Board of Visitors and Governors. Under Toll's leadership, the College has achieved increased donor support and a quadrupling of the College's endowment, expanded academic programs and new academic facilities, a growing applicant pool and increased selectivity, and enhanced rankings in U. S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges and other independent college guides. Meanwhile, the College has remained deliberately small. With an undergraduate enrollment capped at approximately 1250 students, Toll believes the College can provide an ideal environment for collaborative learning and for fostering a strong sense of community.
“Words cannot adequately express my appreciation and admiration for what Dr. Toll has accomplished for Washington College,” said Griswold. “By any standard, his presidency will be remembered as among the College's most remarkable.”
In accepting Dr. Toll's plans for retirement, the Board voted to award him the title of President Emeritus when he concludes his presidency.
Toll is an internationally respected figure in academic and scientific communities. He has attracted a number of national figures to speak at the campus, among them former President George H. W. Bush and James Watson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning physicist who, with Francis Crick, discovered the double helix structure for DNA.
“Throughout a long and distinguished career as both a scientist and an educator, John Toll has built programs that support the pursuit of knowledge in modern physics and related sciences,” Watson remarked upon learning of Toll's intentions to step down. “No educator has had more impact in fostering cooperation in scientific research than John Toll. From university research labs to undergraduate classrooms, John Toll has made significant contributions to the success of science education in America.”
Toll will also be remembered for returning the College's benefactor and first trustee, George Washington, to the forefront of the College's identity, and emphasizing the early institution's role in forging an educated citizenry for what was then a new nation. One of Toll's first initiatives was the Washington Scholars program, which awards $40,000 scholarships to National Honor Society and Cum Laude Society high school students who exemplify the qualities of leadership, scholarship, character and service. Today, more than half of all students enrolled at the College are Washington Scholars.
David L. Warren, President of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, commented on Toll's impact at Washington College: “John Toll is a national treasure in American higher education. With an illustrious career already established, and at a point when most people would be comfortable resting on their accomplishments, John instead chose to take on the challenge of leading Washington College into the new century. Since 1995, he has done that with style, substance, and a degree of success that has been noted all across higher education. Today, thanks to John's efforts, Washington College stands as one of the rising stars of private higher education. Its new-found national stature over the past eight years is in large measure a reflection of the stature of its president.”
A Princeton-trained physicist, Chancellor Emeritus and professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and a former president of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Toll's career in higher education has spanned six decades. His first appointment as a college president came in 1965 when he became the first president at the 1,800-student State University of New York at Stony Brook. By the time he left, the school had grown to 17,000 students with specialized schools for public affairs, medicine, dentistry, nursing, allied health professions, basic health sciences and social work, and had become the leading centers of research in the State University of New York. In recognition of his accomplishments at Stony Brook, Newsday counted Toll among the top 100 individuals who shaped the twentieth century. The university's gift club for benefactors is named for him.
In 1978, the University of Maryland invited Toll to return, this time as president to preside over a system of five campuses. Ten years later, at the request of then-Governor Schaefer, Toll headed up the merger of Maryland's two public multi-campus university systems and the founding of the University of Maryland System, with Toll named as Chancellor. He left that post in 1989 to become president of the Universities Research Association. In 1995, he accepted the position of Acting President of Washington College and later that year accepted the presidency on a permanent basis. While at an age when most people consider retirement, Toll promised the college ten years. By the end of his 2004-2005 sabbatical year, he will have more than fulfilled that commitment.
His leadership has brought considerable progress, financial support and recognition to Washington College, an effect that colleagues call “The Toll Factor.” At the time of his arrival, the College's endowment was under $27 million; at the end of fiscal year 2002 it stood at $104 million. The fundraising campaign he initiated in 1996 achieved its initial goal of $72 million 18 months ahead of schedule, and is targeted to top $100 million by the end of this year. The campaign has funded the Washington Scholars program, four new endowed faculty chairs, and the expansion of the College's physical plant, including the addition of two new academic facilities, 11 new student residence halls, and a $20 million science teaching and research complex now under construction.
While finances and infrastructure grew stronger under his guidance, so did academic initiatives, including the addition of five new majors and a certification program in elementary education. Two new academic centers combine traditional academic programming with community engagement and research opportunities for students—the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the Center for the Environment and Society.
“John Toll's initiatives at Washington College have strengthened its leadership role in preserving the Chesapeake Bay region,” remarked Congressman Wayne Gilchrest, who represents the district encompassing Washington College. “With a renewed focus on environmental studies and its rich historical heritage, Washington College involves students in issues that matter to the people of the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed.”

Monday, June 16, 2003

Twenty-One Muslim Students To Participate In First-Ever American Studies Institute At Washington College

Chestertown, MD, June 16, 2003 — Washington College will host 21 Muslim students from several Asian countries this summer for an ambitious new cultural exchange program. The American Studies Institute at Washington College, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, is the first-ever government-funded program to invite college students from Islamic backgrounds to study American culture and history. The theme of the Institute is “American Democracy: The Great Experiment.” It will run from June 29 to August 2 in Chestertown.
Student leaders from predominantly Islamic universities in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh (seven students from each country, 12 women and 9 men in all) were selected from hundreds of applications by the respective U.S. Embassies in Islamabad, New Delhi and Dhaka. Through experiences such as Fourth of July parades and minor-league baseball games, to academic readings and discussions of political writers and theorists, the students will spend a month in a small American town—Chestertown—immersing themselves in American culture.
A series of lectures by Washington College faculty and distinguished visitors will introduce students to both the possibilities and the realities of American democracy. During the first week, titled “Birthrights,” the students will concentrate on the ideals of the founders, studying the charter documents of the United States along with the writings of Washington, Jefferson, Adams and other members of the original “greatest generation.” The second week's program, “Civil Rights,” will focus on ways that Americans have struggled to realize those ideals, and will include segments on the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement. Week three, “Chestertown, U.S.A.,” will give the students a close look at democracy in action, allowing them to meet with community leaders from diverse backgrounds. Week Four, “America and the World,” will examine the relationship between the United States and other nations.
The Institute is distinctive because of Washington College's small-town setting that allows international students to experience directly an America very different than the one portrayed in movies, television and popular media. Chestertown, known for its picturesque streets lined with 18th-century houses, will be a living laboratory in which to study America's founding, and as a busy county seat, provides an easy way for students to meet and interact with the men and women who translate democratic ideals into everyday practice through local courtrooms, politics, volunteerism and community activism.
In addition to classroom experience, the students will participate in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, including field trips to Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York City. Once the students have completed their course of study in Chestertown, they will travel to Washington, D.C., to tour the shrines of American democracy and receive final briefings at the Department of State. By interacting with a wide variety of American citizens, these future leaders will return to their countries with a greater understanding of American history and the democratic ideals that guide it.
For further information about the American Studies Institute, contact Kees de Mooy, Program Manager for the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, 410-810-7156, or visit the Center online at visit the Center online at The C. V. Starr Center is a forum for new scholarship about American history. Drawing on the special historical strengths of Washington College, the Center explores the early republic, the rise of democracy, and the manifold ways in which the founding era continues to shape the fabric of American culture. The Center is interdisciplinary, encouraging the study of traditional history alongside new approaches, and seeking to bridge the divide between the academic world and the public at large.