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


Last updated on March 25, 2024

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

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