April 7, 2004, Editorial in The News Leader, Staunton
Inauguration Was a Breath of Fresh Air
Dr. Pamela Fox has been president of Mary Baldwin College in all
but full title since 2003, so last week's inauguration was really
only the festive icing on a cake that's been baking for quite a
while. Thus, if our congratulations to Fox seem somewhat muted - like
fireworks on a rainy, chilly night - we hope she will understand
that it is only because we are already accustomed to knowing her
in her role as a leader in both the community and at Mary Baldwin.
That said, we must acknowledge that Fox took on her official role
as president of the college in an inaugural ceremony that rivaled
all but some of Staunton's historically legendary events in both
style and substance.
The style evidenced - from Fox's adoption of an African symbol
of unity to embody her goals and leadership philosophy to the diverse
multicultural musical offerings at her inauguration to the new
president's embrace of the entire Staunton community - were a breath
of fresh air.
The substance - viewed from the perspective of a full year in
office for Fox, in spirit if not in full title - is living proof
that the newest president of Mary Baldwin College is dedicated
to leading the college to new heights during her tenure.
This is not meant to downplay the contributions of any of Fox's
predecessors or to imply they were somehow lacking; it's not. But
Fox's leadership style and world view are obviously such a quantum
leap forward for Mary Baldwin that it augurs well for the college,
Staunton and community in general. We are all - individually and
together - evolving. Dr. Fox's joyful and spirited taking of the
reins last week is proof that evolution can be both fun and stylish
as well as a necessary step toward perfection.
(Reprinted with permission.)