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Standing on the shoulders

by Melinda Lantz | Feb 25, 2019

Posted Feb. 25 - A. Blair Helman served as Manchester’s president for 30 years, retiring in 1986. In one of his last reports to the Board of Trustees, dated April 1985, he reflected on the challenges facing Manchester and the commitments needed to strengthen the College.

The challenges he listed are the same as those we face today: “A continuing financial crunch, a rural location, an uncertain market for our historic curriculum, a need to invest heavily in plant and to build endowment, problems with growing involvement with government and a declining student population.”

In responding to these challenges, Helman said, “We will need to be creative and resourceful in finding more effective and efficient ways to do our work.”

Helman ended his report by affirming the work of those who came before and the deep love of Manchester exhibited by those who served the College with him.

“We will need to dedicate our abilities and energies to the perpetuation of the institution which we love and serve into the future. To do less than our best would be a betrayal of the vision and the commitment of those who have built a truly great college.”

We are nearing the end of a long and exhausting review of our work – the Institutional Vitality and Sustainability Initiative – aimed at fulfilling President Helman’s call. Generations before us have done this same hard work and I am grateful to my colleagues for their contributions to what we all believe will be a long and vibrant future for the institution we love and serve together.