from the President's Newsletter, December 2023

Dear Juniata Community, 

What a tremendous month we’ve had! Our campus has been ablaze with community pride—from cheering our Women’s Volleyball team’s back-to-back National Championship win, joining in the collective effort to recreate the 1963 Book Move in preparation for the January 16, 2024, opening of Statton Learning Commons, and gathering to celebrate cherished traditions like Madrigal.

As we approach the conclusion of this fall semester, I also want to share with you that I will be on sabbatical next semester. While it is a welcome opportunity for some personal renewal after 10.5 years as your president, I will also be visiting and studying some of the best liberal arts colleges in the country to better learn how Juniata might continue to evolve and meet the demands of a rapidly changing higher education environment. Furthermore, with a new strategic plan now in place, an emerging campus master planning process being launched, our next campaign in motion, and the celebration of our sesquicentennial in 2026, the Board also extended my contract through 2029 to support the success of these important institutional priorities. Jennifer and I are grateful to the Board of Trustees for their continued confidence and we look forward to staying committed to the mission of this extraordinary place.

I am also grateful to Provost Lauren Bowen who will serve as acting president while I am on sabbatical. She has skillfully led the faculty and all of academic affairs for nearly 10 years; I am confident in her ability to lead the college. She will work in close partnership with the Senior Leadership Team which will include Associate Provost Dom Peruso who will step up as acting provost for the spring semester. He brings 25 years of experience at Juniata preparing him well for this role.  You can look forward to hearing from Provost Bowen directly via these newsletters to keep you updated on all the good work happening in the college throughout the spring semester.

Finally, I'm proud to announce that Juniata College will have its first director of sustainability starting in the new year. Celina (Isenberg) Seftas '07 studied environmental science at Juniata and most recently served as district manager at the Huntingdon County Conservation District. This inaugural role is made possible by the generosity of President Emeritus Thomas R. Kepple, Jr. and Pat G. Kepple, Fred C. Mason, Jr. '73 and Karen K. Mason, and Randy L. Kochel '79 and Pamela Green Kochel '80.

May your holidays be filled with warmth and joy.

Warm regards,
President James A. Troha