November 03, 2022

Seizing This Moment

Dear students, staff and faculty,

On Friday, October 21, I was formally inaugurated as Lewis & Clark’s 26th president. It is the honor of a lifetime.

The ceremony and reception capped a week of festivities that brought our entire community together to celebrate the mission, vision, and values of Lewis & Clark. Thank you to the inaugural committee and to everyone who participated in or attended the celebration. Your efforts and presence made it a day to remember for me and for our institution.

During the ceremony, I shared stories of excellence from across our campus and laid out my vision for Lewis & Clark. Read on for highlights from the speech, or visit the president’s page to read the full inauguration speech, and stay tuned for the inauguration ceremony video on Lewis & Clark’s YouTube channel.

As I told the audience, Lewis & Clark has arrived at a wonderful moment on our campus. We emerged from the pandemic stronger than ever, with faculty and staff innovation drawing more students and our supportive, community of care inspiring those students to stay in school. We are in an excellent position, and it’s time to challenge ourselves to do more.

My priorities for our campus include:

  1. Continuing to eliminate roadblocks for our students by delivering unwavering constituent service across all departments and offices and creating the sense of belonging that is the antidote to disconnection and divisiveness.

  2. Identifying and investing in promising academic and support programs to meet the changing needs of our students and community.

  3. Rewarding and retaining our loyal faculty and staff with competitive compensation.

  4. Advancing our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals with an emphasis on diversifying our faculty and staff and appropriately training, supporting, and retaining our new hires.

  5. Improving our local, regional, and national reputation across all three campuses. Get ready to hear more about the excellence that exists at Lewis & Clark.

The true power of higher education is our ability to teach students how to learn across their differences without shutting down or becoming locked in rigid thinking. It’s why we have invested in our community dialogues initiative with the goal to complete three dialogues this year.

We want our graduates to leave us ready and willing to contribute constructively to difficult conversations about the future of our country. In making room for new voices and encouraging the discussion of ideological and philosophical differences, we will become a model within higher education. We exist to serve our students—and our community. And one way we can serve our community is to live up to our responsibility to help heal our divided and polarized country.

I love Lewis & Clark. Thank you for trusting me to lead our storied institution.



Robin H. Holmes-Sullivan