Deans’ Letters to Graduates

Many of the Livingston College yearbooks include letters to the graduating class from the college’s dean. The pages linked below include the text of each letter, as well as a link to the page(s) where they were printed in each yearbook.

From Ernest A. Lynton:

Classes of 1970, 1971 and 1972: No yearbooks were published; no graduation letters have been located.

Letter to the Class of 1973.

From George W. Carey:

Letter to the Class of 1974.

From Emmanuel George Mesthene:

Class of 1975: No yearbook has been located; most likely it was not published. No graduation letter has been located.

Class of 1976: No separate yearbook was produced (graduates’ photos were included in the 1977 yearbook); no graduation letter has been located.

Letter to the Class of 1977. 

From W. Robert Jenkins:

Letter to the Class of 1978.

Class of 1979: No separate yearbook was produced (graduates’ photos were included in the 1980 yearbook); no graduation letter has been located.

Letters to the Classes of:

  • 1980
  • 1981
  • 1982
  • 1983
  • 1984
  • 1985
  • 1986

Class of 1987: The yearbook does not include a letter from the dean; no separate letter has been located.

Letter to the Class of 1988.

Classes of 1989 and 1990: No yearbooks have been located; most likely they were not published. No separate letters have been located.

From Walton R. Johnson:

Letters to the Classes of:

  • 1991
  • 1992

From Arnold G. Hyndman:

Classes of 1993 through 2001: The yearbooks do not include a letter from the dean; no separate letters have been located.

Letter to the Class of 2002.

Classes of 2003 through 2007: The yearbooks do not include a letter from the dean; no separate letters have been located.

Classes of 2008 through 2010: No yearbooks were published; no graduation letters have been located.

Livingston College Monthly Updates (2005-2007)

Tamar Kieval Br[See also the Alumni Newsletters page.]

Tamar Kieval Brill (pictured), then Livingston College’s Assistant Dean for Special Projects, compiled the Livingston College Monthly Updates, posted online from March 2005 through February 2007. PDF copies are available here:

  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • Summer/September 2005 
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • Summer/October 2006
  • November/December 2006
  • January/February 2007

The Dean’s Annual Report (1997-2001)

Livingston College Dean Arnold Hyndman, from the 2001 YearbookLivingston College Dean Arnold G. Hyndman issued The Dean’s Annual Report. Online copies of the report are available for the following years:

  • 1997-1998 (HTML)
  • 1998-1999 (HTML)
  • 1999-2000 (HTML)
  • 2000-2001 (PDF)

Photo: Dean Arnold G. Hyndman, from the 2001 yearbook, Diversity, Making Connections Vol. XI.

Dean’s Letter to Class of 2002: Change the World in Simple, Yet Critical and Lasting Ways

Arnold G. Hyndman, dean of Livingston College, wrote the following letter to the Class of 2002, included in the college yearbook, Diversity: A College Tale.

To the Class of 2002:


It is with fond memories and best wishes that on behalf of Livingston College, I bid you farewell. This class is uniquely positioned in history. Your time at Livingston College bridged two different centuries, and due to the events of September 11, 2001, very possibly crossed between two distinctive periods of American and World History. Regardless of what the future holds, I am confident that Livingston College prepared you well for the challenges of these new times. This includes an appreciation for community, a global perspective on life, and the leadership skills to work effectively with others.


As you prepare for your tomorrows, I encourage you to engage and change the world in simple, and yet critical and lasting ways. Strive to be a better son or daughter, a faithful friend, and concerned neighbor. If you have learned the lessons of Livingston, then you will also go on to be a concerned citizen, a competent employee or employer, and perhaps a supportive spouse or loving parent. Nevertheless, in whatever you do and whomever you interact with, your goal will be to leave each place or person in a better condition than when you found them.

May the true peace that surpasses all understanding rule and guard all that you do from this day forward.


Arnold G. Hyndman, Ph.D.


Dean’s Letter to Class of 1992: Livingston Has Been at the Educational Frontier

Walton R. Johnson, dean of Livingston College, wrote the following letter to the Class of 1992, included in the college yearbook, Diversity, Volume Two: A Style of Our Own.

May 25, 1992


Commencement is truly the beginning of the journey of life. The fellows, staff and administrators of Livingston College wish you all the best. We take pride in your accomplishments and are grateful to have played a part, however small, in your attaining a degree.

Starting an important journey is always fraught with anxieties. That is especially true in this time of economic recession and uncertain social and political climate. Nevertheless, you should embark upon this journey with confidence. Livingston College has prepared you well.

Although it was perhaps not always clear while you were enmeshed in daily life at Livingston, you should remember the college’s tradition of being at the educational frontier. We have stressed teaching and learning, social responsibility and community service, pride in diversity, and social justice.

These uniquely Livingston values in your Rutgers education have prepared you well for the journey you are now starting. They will continue to serve you well. Carry them with you as you venture forth.

We are anxious that you always remember where your journey began. Please plan to return something to Livingston College. We hope to see you here often and, of course, we anticipate your becoming active members of the Livingston Alumni family.

Bon voyage!

Walton R. Johnson

Dean’s Letter to Class of 1991: We Expect Great Things of You

Walton R.

Walton R. Johnson, acting dean of Livingston College, wrote the following letter to the Class of 1991, included in the college yearbook, Diversity, Volume 1: Not Just a Generic College.


To the Graduating Class of 1991


Four years ago you came to Livingston College eager, excited and even a little fearful as you entered the unknown world of the University with the expectation that anything is possible. On your own for perhaps the first time, you had only an idea of the opportunities, adventures, and problems that would await you.

Now, just as the world of Livingston College has become a comfortable place and its challenges conquered, you are asked to begin again and enter the unknown world beyond the security of academic life. Your feelings, hopes, and fears are probably very much the same as they were when you came here four years ago. As you leave us and go out into the world, it is our hope that Livingston College has provided you with the strength and direction that you will need to think for yourselves, and to take advantage of the challenges, adventures, and opportunities to follow your dreams and make anything become possible.

You have worked hard and deserve our deep appreciation for your contributions to Livingston College. As you graduate, we expect great things of you, we congratulate you and wish you success and happiness in the future.


Revised May 1, 2016

Dean’s Letter to the Class of 1988: Livingston College Needs Loyal Daughters and Sons


W. Robert Jenkins, dean of Livingston College, wrote the following letter to the Class of 1988, included in the college yearbook, 1988.

May, 1988

Dear Graduates:


Each year I am asked to write a letter such as this one. Each year I wonder what to say and how to say it. Nonetheless, this is a pleasant task since, among other things, I get a chance to congratulate you on successfully completing your degree. For that accomplishment, I offer my most sincere congratulations and my best wishes to you in the years to come.

Whether you go on to further study, to jobs, or to other endeavors, I hope that what we offered you at Livingston has prepared you for that task.


Lastly, remember your College. Come back to visit and experience the nostalgia of days past; reflect on how you and the College changed and in what ways have remained the same. The College needs loyal daughters and sons and their encouragement will assist us to continue offering students the best we have.


Goodbye for now — and good luck. Let’s keep in touch.

Sincerely yours,

  W. Robert Jenkins


Revised November 29, 2015

Dean’s Letter to the Class of 1986: Keep College Memories a Vital Part of Your Life


W. Robert Jenkins, dean of Livingston College, wrote the following letter to the Class of 1986, included in the college yearbook, The Experience.

May, 1986

Dear Student:

Leaving college is a time of mixed emotions. You have a well-deserved sense of pride and satisfaction in achieving your goal of earning a baccalaureate degree. We of the faculty and administration share your pleasure, knowing that the education you have received at Livingston College assures you of a proper preparation for the next stage of your life whether a job or further study.

At the same time, you probably have a sense of loss, or sadness. You are leaving friends, associates, familiar faces and surroundings. You may even experience some trepidation at what you face in your next step. Do you remember leaving high school and beginning college when you weren’t sure that you were ready for such a change? Things worked out for you at Livingston College; you learned what was expected of you and how to meet those expectations. You’ll do well in your next endeavors too.

In leaving, however, you take with you memories which will never be lost. Memories of each other, of your classes and professors, of campus controversies, and of a sense of being a part of something big. The Class of 1986 will especially remember the closing of the Kilmer Library for asbestos removal and the difficulties which that closing caused; of the new Livingston College Student Center, its delayed opening, and the lack of completion of it many months after its promised delivery; of the moving of the School of Business to become our neighbors on Kilmer; and of the biggest Spring Weekend ever. These and other memories are special and should be kept alive. They represent your years at Rutgers University.

As an individual, you mean a great deal to both the College and the University. We want you to remain associated with your College by becoming a member of your alumni association. Through them, you can get together with old friends and relive your experiences and keep the memory of the Livingston College experience forever a vital part of your life.

I wish you well in your future and most sincerely hope that you will return to see us on occasion. Whatever else, we are now a part of one another. That sharing has been a pleasure for me; I hope it has been for you as well.

Sincerely yours,

W. Robert Jenkins



Revised December 1, 2015


Dean’s Letter to the Class of 1985: Change Reflects Progress

W. Robert Jenkins, dean of Livingston College, wrote the following letter to the Class of 1985, included in the college yearbook, Senior Record.

Dear Graduate:

Congratulations on your degree and best wishes for the future. I hope that Livingston College and Rutgers University have served you well and that your memories will be mostly fond ones. You have been here when major changes have taken place and the gains, perhaps also the losses, which resulted from those changes have had a direct effect on you. However, change is inevitable in a dynamic establishment; we should expect and welcome change, as it reflects progress. Improvements in the future include our new (at last!) student center. I hope that all of you will come back to see and enjoy the completed project. We also look to a continued improvement in the ranking of Rutgers University because, as our reputation improves, so does the value of your degree. Big things are beginning to happen here, and I firmly believe that Rutgers University is to be the premier public institution in the East.

You, as graduates, can continue to be a part of Livingston College, and we need you to continue your association with us. Alumni are the best representatives of a college, and your support of us in conversation with others will boost our visibility and reputation. Encourage students to apply and attend Livingston College; speak up as graduates of Livingston College, not of Rutgers University; give a little time back to us, and when you can, contribute your financial support to our many programs.

As always, I will feel a personal loss when you leave. It is a price one pays in getting to know and like an essentially transient population. Please keep in touch, and let us know what you’re doing, because that is one of the real rewards of having gotten to know you.

So, for one more time — good luck, best wishes, and fond memories.

W. Robert Jenkins

Dean’s Letter to the Class of 1984: Livingston Undergoing ‘Teenage Growth Pains’


W. Robert Jenkins, dean of Livingston College, wrote the following letter to the Class of 1984, included in the college yearbook, Strength Through Diversity.

Dear Graduate:


Livingston College has not yet reached the age of fifteen and might well be called a teenager since we have been faced with characteristic childhood and teenage growth pains. As with teenagers, we are still not quite mature and are still establishing our identity. That identity is based on the goals of our College as stated in the revised mission statement issued by the Livingston College Assembly in the Fall, 1983 semester.


In that statement, we confirm our belief in the future, realizing that the College’s future lies within all those who are closely connected with it. As a College, we offer access and hope to many who might otherwise be denied such an opportunity. Our academic and non-academic challenges provide each of you with an opportunity to reach decisions based on the knowledge of others and your own life experiences. The Livingston College Fellows and administrators think an education ought to be what we have provided you and will provide students who follow you.


During your college years, you have formed friendships and have learned to have respect for different ideas and for individuals of different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. That, too, is one of our goals. That effort has been a success and you are the proof of that success. Keep this important perspective in mind in all of your future activities.


Now that you leave Livingston College, we know that we are part of each other. You have meant much to me in many ways and I have a deep personal affection for each of you. After you have left, I urge that you keep the Livingston spirit alive and your associations intact. With you as our graduates and with the participation of students yet to come, Livingston College will emerge from its teen years as a mature and dynamic adult. Good luck to each and every one of you.


With fondness,

  W. Robert Jenkins



Revised November 29, 2015

Dean’s Letter to the Class of 1983: ‘Livingston Spirit Has Survived and Thrives’

W. Robert Jenkins, dean of Livingston College, wrote the following letter to the Class of 1983, included in the college yearbook, Strength Through Diversity.

Dear Graduate:


It hardly seems possible that yet another year has passed and I am again writing a letter to the graduating class for publication in the Yearbook. But it is indeed that time for me — and what a year we have had!


This year we realized after so many years of trying, the approval by the Board of Governors of a student center for Livingston College. Not just another renovation of a room or two in Tillett, and not an add-on to Tillett, but a separate building designed and planned to be a student center — our own student center. Unfortunately, the class of 1983 will not get to use it but it will be here for you to come home to and to enjoy. I would like to see all of you at a gala to celebrate our opening.


Another good happening was Livingston’s “coming of age,” as we were literally swamped with applicants and our dorms were over-crowded. Look out Towers, we’re coming back.


A change with mixed blessing has been the accomplishment of physical reorganization. Gone are a Livingston College faculty and Livingston department although old friends remain active in affairs here. As I write this letter, there are many problems to tackle and many traffic jams to delay us while Route 18 is expanded and extended. But the departments and programs based at Livingston College are good ones and all are important to our mission.


So, okay, there have been changes. But the Livingston spirit has survived and thrives. As long as we admit to the College only those applicants we wish to enroll, as long as we set graduation requirements, run the commuter and residence life programs, operate the gym and the College Center, we can still be who we wish to be.


My message to you then, if I must have one, is goodbye and good luck. I ask that you remember Livingston College and what we stand for. We’re a great place and growing better every year. We care about each other and what happens in society. Our College is unique and it has made each of us who is part of it, whether student, faculty, or staff, a much better person for the experience.


Don’t forget your College and do come back to visit. Most of all, keep our spirit alive.


Sincerely yours,
W. Robert Jenkins