July 1, 2019
Greetings Distinguished Tougaloo Alumni,
As we officially begin this journey together, commencing my exciting tenure as the 14th president of Tougaloo College, it is my privilege to lead this historic institution. I am honored to join a community that understands the power of a transformative education and its ability to transform lives. Many thanks to the Board of Trustees and the search committee for their confidence in me to lead, elevate, and advance the academic, financial, and administrative operations of the College. As your leader, I am fully aware that we are only here today because of the incredible work and sacrifice of the presidents who came before me who helped build Tougaloo into the fine institution it is. We owe a debt of gratitude to retired president, Dr. Beverly W. Hogan, who led the College since 2002 during a time of unprecedented growth and achievement. I am inspired by the strong foundations on which I stand to build a stronger Tougaloo College beyond its sesquicentennial, and well into the future.
It is clear that Tougaloo’s defining strength is its distinguished alumni. I feel certain that you are very proud of this “special place!” No institution exists for one hundred and fifty years and remains relevant in the 21st century through magic. It is because of committed alumni like you who have been a part of Tougaloo’s continued existence, who remain proud of her legacy, and who support the institution. Thank you for staying connected and for giving your time and resources.
As we embark on the next phase of Tougaloo’s illustrious history, we must partner to advance the institution to greater prominence and impact. We owe it to our current and future students to build a stronger, vibrant, and sustainable college. Tougaloo’s strategic plan, Vision 2020 – Transformation through Innovation, comes to a close in June 2020. This living document has guided the work of the College throughout the past five years. Many thanks to everyone who worked on the plan and who will continue to lead us in our efforts to realize the incredible outcomes that are boldly envisioned. It is our goal to finish strong, and in Summer 2020 share with you the accomplishments and recommendations by which Vision 2020 will be evaluated.
Our sesquicentennial is a wonderful opportunity for Tougaloo to re-envision its future as an innovative liberal arts institution that meets the demands of its students and serves the needs of a changing world. Together, we can pave a new way forward for current and future generations of students. We will embark upon a new cycle of strategic planning to set the direction of the College over the next five years, 2020-2025. Feedback, exchange of ideas, and collaboration between the leadership team, alumni, students, deans, faculty, staff, the Board of Trustees, as well as our many business partners and friends are necessary for the development of a successful strategic plan. This dynamic work will begin with you through online surveys and face-to-face meetings. I can envision great things for Tougaloo and welcome your engagement to help map a future that will be representative of the College’s many constituents. More information will be shared about this as soon as we finalize the details of the process.
In closing, as we write a new chapter in the Tougaloo story, I look forward to us sharing this amazing journey together while making a lasting impact on the history of all humanity. Please make plans to return to campus during the week of October 14-20, 2019 for the culminating celebrations honoring the College’s Sesquicentennial.
We are Tougaloo!
Carmen J. Walters, PhD