A Welcome from our 18th President

Dr. Wayne P. Webster began his duties as the 18th President of Albion College on July 1, 2023. You can read his welcome message here.

Dr. Wayne P. Webster, Albion College's 18th PresidentDear Albion College Community,

It is with much excitement that I write to you today in my official capacity as Albion’s 18th president.

Yesterday, I completed my final day as Interim President of The College of Wooster. Leaving beloved colleagues and an institution I admire was not easy, but for the past three months, I have excitedly looked forward to joining my new community in Albion.

Since April, I have enjoyed visiting campus and establishing critical lines of communication with faculty and staff leaders as well as members of the Board of Trustees and the greater Albion community. While throwing the first pitch at a Brit’s baseball game and seeing our men’s lacrosse team beat Hope this May were definite highlights, it’s been those meetings with the people of Albion that have made the most lasting impact. Albion students are exceptional, inquisitive, and driven—this was clear from the minute I stepped foot on campus and as I stopped to say “hello” during lunch time in Baldwin and interrupted a few class sessions along the tour route. My meetings with faculty leadership and department chairs reinforced for me what makes this campus so very special—the unmistakable devotion of Albion faculty and staff to the founding mission of this great place and to the success of each student who walks through our doors.

While we have a long and storied foundation and history, many challenges lay ahead for our community. The headwinds facing higher education are strong and undeniable, particularly in the Midwest, where the population of prospective college students is declining. Residential liberal arts colleges like ours must find ways to embrace change and work together towards strategic, innovative, and thoughtful progress that builds from our founding mission while meeting the realities of the marketplace.

As we work towards a sustainable budget and financial model for the College, we will do so through shared governance and open and transparent communication, leaning on our values of promoting and practicing inclusion and belonging in all ways.

The work ahead of us will be challenging and difficult, but it is achievable and holds many opportunities when we build from Albion’s strengths. We must lean into our commitment to the residential liberal arts and sciences experience, our pioneering work to create experiential learning opportunities that grow the capacity of our students as well as those of the local community, our strength in athletic and co-curricular offerings, and the distinctive institutes and programs in public policy, service, business, and health. I know there is so much more to this equation, and I’m eager to hear your thoughts on what makes Albion strong and what you feel is necessary as we enter our next chapter.

In all this work, we will continue to need good leadership. I am pleased to share that, after consultation with the Faculty Steering Committee, Dr. Lisa Lewis has agreed to remain as the Interim Provost for this coming academic year and continue to serve Albion and our community in this important role as we begin a search process. I have so much appreciated her advice and knowledge during my transition and am grateful for her continued partnership. I also am pleased to announce that Dr. Heather Betz will remain in her role as Associate Provost, which will provide important stability and leadership for our academic affairs functions.  Soon, I plan to share leadership and search updates for the College’s Marketing and Communications and Finance and Business functions.

The College has been well-served by the wise counsel of the Board of Trustees and the dedicated leadership and care provided over the past 18 months by Joe and Donna Calvaruso. I am deeply grateful for the kindness, support, and generosity shown to me and my family throughout my transition.

I look forward to being on campus July 13-14 to welcome our incoming class and to begin next steps in establishing my office. If your schedules allow, please join us at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 13 at the Kellogg Center for conversation and light refreshments. My wife, Sally, our daughter, Stella, and I will make our permanent arrival to Albion later this month.

Once again, I am so honored to join this remarkable community and to work with all of you to lead Albion towards a strong, successful, and sustainable future. I am confident our best days are ahead.

Go Brits!

Wayne P. Webster, Ed.D.