“Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?”
Some may remember that as a recurring line from the popular if ridiculous 1980s television show The A-Team. But I use that quote here because the A-Team and the Albion team actually have some similarities.
Five years ago many so-called experts told me that the City of Albion was too far gone to ever come back and that colleges like Albion were doomed. But an eccentric cast of characters refused to accept that scenario. They had a plan. They knew that, historically, liberal arts colleges have thrived in small towns. The close-knit communities that can exist in towns like Albion promote the out-of-classroom learning that defines our competitive advantage. Faculty, staff, students, trustees, and alumni banded together with Albion residents to rebuild our host community. At the same time, longtime residents of Albion found ways to support the work of our College.
Each week, as another A-Team episode drew to a close, viewers knew it was time to watch a plan come together. In real life, it is not always clear when that happens. We are often too busy to recognize a victory. We fall prey to competition and refuse to accept the successes of rivals, even if they are on the same team. And we are so focused on the next challenge that we forget to celebrate the conquering of seemingly insurmountable challenges.
It is my intent to renew this Strategic Plan blog from last spring over the coming weeks and months, with contributions from faculty and staff, to chronicle the ideas and initiatives I see taking shape on our campus and in our town. In some posts we will celebrate big victories. Other times we will acknowledge the hard, day-to-day work of building a College and a Town. Along the way, perhaps we will remember why it is that we love it when a plan comes together.
That we not lose sight of all we have accomplished to this point, I invite you to review the report I delivered to our Board of Trustees last May. It provides an excellent snapshot of our first several years of achievements under Albion College’s Strategic Plan, Forging an Exemplary Liberal Arts College. As we move further into the new year, we’ll continue to update the Strategic Plan website and write about the impacts of the Plan on the College, the City of Albion, and the larger world.