2013 Dean’s Letter
The following was published in our annual newsletter to guidance counselors, which mailed in September 2013.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about time. Not just that I don’t have enough of it. Or how sometimes it flies, and sometimes it stands still. But also about the human clock and how we reconcile the past and future — in both our work and personal lives — and how that’s all intertwined with relationships, career moves and symbolic objects.
For example, this year we dismantled and removed a swing set from our backyard (which was, in fact, the last item negotiated when we purchased our property in 2004). I keep looking at the spot where it stood with nostalgia. My son outgrew the climber and the slide, and it just became another obstacle to mow around. So I guess it was time. But it feels like yesterday that Jack would beg me to push him for “just ten more minutes” — and at the same time it seems so long ago. In this instance, I’d give anything to hit the rewind button for an afternoon.
Yet, in other ways, I think about how much has changed in a decade, and I wouldn’t trade anything. I’m going into my tenth year at Hamilton, a job I never thought I’d get when I contemplated interviewing, and I’m so grateful for this opportunity. My colleagues in the admission and financial aid office are humbled by the good fortune we’ve shared. During the past ten years, Hamilton has dramatically increased the selectivity and quality of our students, while at the same time nearly doubling the diversity of our student body, and all the while working hard to never take any of that for granted. As important, we have exchanged merit scholarships for increased need-based financial aid and subsequently committed to need-blind admission (while also honoring our long-standing promise to meet the full demonstrated need of each student we admit). All of this is possible because of an incredibly generous and loyal alumni body, not to mention a president who — as the first in her family to attend college (see center column in this newsletter) — believes in and models this College’s longstanding mission as a school of opportunity.
Yes, I feel fortunate to have gotten this job nearly a decade ago. And I’m thankful for the admission and financial aid team members who’ve come and gone during that time (and especially those who have stayed). I also think about the wonderful students I’ve gotten to know who have chosen this College, contributed to their alma mater’s success as tour guides or admission interns, and become successful graduates who are leading full and rich lives that include, in some cases, a jungle gym in the backyard for the next generation of Hamiltonians.
That brings me back to my swing set. My husband tells me that I should not be sad about its farewell. He says we’ve simply traded in pushes on the swing for more space to “go long.” He’s right, of course, and I can’t wait to see what the next ten years will bring.
Most sincerely yours,
Monica C. Inzer
Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid