An Evening with Ed Wingenbach: Presidential Speaking Tour Kicks Off in Brooklyn
Since the pandemic put a halt to travel, this academic year presents Ed’s first opportunity to visit with the wider Hampshire College community. Brooklyn was the first stop on his six-city tour.
More than 75 members of the Hampshire community joined President Ed Wingenbach and Alumni and Family Relations staff at the Montauk Club, in Park Slope, on Friday, September 16, for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
Following a warm welcome and an introduction from Board Chair Jose Fuentes 05F, Ed spoke about how extraordinary the past three years have been. When he took over to lead the College, in summer 2019, Hampshire had been brought to the brink of closure. Though the future was uncertain, he said, a determined group of alums, faculty and staff, and students knew the College had to survive. Meaningful fundraising efforts proved that all was not lost, after which the entire community came together to imagine what a reinvented Hampshire College might look like.
Ed went on to praise the work the community has done in adapting Hampshire’s academic model to meet the needs of its students and the current societal moment. Using the core frameworks of its pedagogy (for example, narrative evaluations, the divisional system, and collaborative relationships with faculty and staff), the College has moved pressing global challenges to the center of the curriculum. After he described this timely, transdisciplinary, and entrepreneurial approach to teaching and learning, he provided updates on the Change in the Making fundraising campaign and the continued growth of admissions.
Alum Cheyenne Palacio-McCarthy 15F then spoke to the gathering. “We know why Hampshire matters to each of us,” she said. “I’m telling you, when the world gets wind of this, it will matter to them too. When students get wind of this, it will matter to them too.” Palacio-McCarthy closed with the sentiment that giving time or financial support is essential to keep Hampshire independent and sustainable for the next 50 years and beyond. “It’s more important now than ever to help secure Hampshire’s unique place in our world,” she said. “Each of us has a role to play—our work is far from over.”
More events with Ed are planned for Boston, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Details will be posted at hamp.it/events as they’re finalized.