Thursday, January 12, 2006

C. V. Starr Center Director Ted Widmer Accepts New Position at John Carter Brown Library

Chestertown, MD, January 12, 2006

Message from President Tipson

As some of you might have heard by now, Ted Widmer has resigned his position as Director of the C. V. Starr Center, effective June 30, 2006, to accept the position of Director and Librarian of the John Carter Brown Library, located at Brown University. The John Carter Brown Library is an internationally renowned collection of primary historical sources pertaining to the early history of the Americas, serving scholars from all over the U.S. and abroad. Though I am very sorry to see Ted leave Washington College, I understand why he would view this as a unique opportunity to pursue his work in early American history and to return to his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island.

In the just-released C.V. Starr Center newsletter, Ted describes the difficulty of his decision to leave and his affection for Washington College:

"When I think of Washington College and Chestertown, I often feel sorry for my colleagues at bigger universities. No institution is perfect, but in many ways this small college and town felt like an academic paradise, closer to the contemplative spirit that colleges were supposed to encourage when they were first created, a Virgilian Arcadia just far enough away from Washington to be interesting. The Starr Center has tried hard to reflect in new ways on the old ideas at the center of our national experience, and I feel enormous pride in our achievement."

Ted has assured me that his relationship with Washington College will not end with his departure. In addition to helping us locate good candidates for his successor, Ted is envisioning cooperative projects that would help deepen the network of support for Washington College and the C. V. Starr Center. He has offered to serve on the Center's advisory board and will certainly return as a frequent visitor.

As inaugural director, Ted has laid a solid foundation for the C. V. Starr Center. Thanks to his efforts, Washington College is off and running as an important locus for the study and celebration of the American experience. I am immensely grateful for his dedication to that task and know you will join me in wishing Ted, Mary, and Freddy all the best in their new home.

We will begin a national search as quickly as possible to identify a successor for Ted. Provost and Dean Joachim Scholz will chair the search committee.

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