President Oxholm to Alumni: ‘Wonderful Teachers’ Are Still ‘Who We Are Today’

By Purnell T. Cropper | May 4, 2012

President Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III had alumni front and center during his Inauguration on April 28, acknowledging both the alumni who breathed life into Beaver College for decades, the students who keep that spirit alive today in Arcadia University, and the faculty who remain the core of each student’s experience here. (Watch President Oxholm’s speech.)

“As the new President, in just eight months, I have traveled to 35 cities in 12 states from New Hampshire to Florida to Texas, from Boston to LA, and to Singapore and Paris. I have met almost 400 alumni from the classes of 2011 to 1941—a 70-year span. I am honored to have so many alumni of Beaver College and Arcadia University here today to participate in this celebration. Would all alumni please rise or waive your hands so that you can be recognized?

“For most of our alums, this physical campus is not what they remember. It’s not Jenkintown, there’s no yellow bus, there are so many new buildings and playing fields, and today you can do the backstroke in our pool without touching the ceiling.

“But it’s never been the buildings that defined Beaver or Arcadia. It’s the Experience students have here. It’s all about the people. At the core, the essence hasn’t changed; it remains exactly the same.”

Both alumni and students added a festive flair to President Oxholm’s inauguration. The students cheered loudly on numerous occasions, and the alumni waved their hands in support and smiled, even teared, as President Oxholm recollected the spirit of beloved former professors Judith Elder and Benton Spruance. The new President talked with pride about finding the spirit of the faculty-student intellectual endeavor alive and well in today’s students.

“What I remember most from that day [Research Expo], even more than the excitement and fire in the students’ eyes, was the joy, the pride, the love that their professors could not help showing, standing in the back of the rooms, listening, nodding, beaming.

“You, graduates of earlier years, of Beaver and Arcadia, you know this, too: You had wonderful teachers. They were smart, they knew their stuff, and they knew you. They challenged you. They stretched you. They consoled you. They applauded you. They cared about you. They transformed you—They helped you become who you are today. That is who we are today. That remains the mission, and the passion, of Arcadia.”

Photos by Josh Blustein