President Outlines Adrian's Future During Inaugural
Jeffrey R. Docking highlights ambitious Renaissance
Today Dr. Jeffrey R. Docking was inaugurated
as the 17th president of Adrian College, in a special
ceremony on the Adrian College campus.
“Renaissance: The Inauguration
of Jeffrey R. Docking” was attended by more than
700 people, including trustees, faculty, staff, students,
alumni, and close friends and family of the Dockings.
In attendance were delegates representing some of the
oldest and most distinguished universities in the nation,
including Harvard, the College of William and Mary,
If the inaugural ceremony made one
message clear, it is that Adrian College is in the midst
of a renaissance. By building on its great and long
history, the private liberal arts college is poised
to reach new heights.
The focus of Docking’s presidency
is the Renaissance Plan, an ambitious strategy for raising
enrollment. Great strides have already been taken to
enhance College facilities, including establishing an
Admissions House and breaking ground on a mulitsport
performance stadium. In his inaugural speech, Docking
emphasized another fundamental part of the Renaissance
Plan: enhancing Adrian’s academic programs.
“As we attract more students
– and more students who are highly qualified –
the faculty and administration will be challenged to
re-imagine the academic experience at this College,”
A few of the ideas he discussed in
his speech included the following.
A Focus on
Experiential Learning – “Adrian should
lead the way in field experience, internships, hands-on
workshops, shadowing opportunities, and service learning,”
Docking said. More externships and a January term are
distinct possibilities. Emphasis would be on learning
program – In a world of increasing sophistication
in how we communicate, Adrian is considering an interdisciplinary
program that combines computer information systems with
English, communication, art and business.
Entrepreneurism, Ingenuity and Inventiveness
– To meet the needs of a changing world, Adrian
will consider establishing an institute whose sole purpose
is to teach students how to think creatively about improving
existing products and ideas.
The Renaissance Plan is tied directly
to Adrian’s enrollment goals. In order to achieve
an economy of scale, the College aims to raise enrollment
from where it is now at under 1,000 students up to 1,400.
As Docking mentioned in his speech, applications for
admission are already up by nearly 70 percent over last
year, and there is a 56 percent increase in admitted
students for fall 2006. At the same time the school
is becoming more selective; the number of students denied
for next fall has risen by 600 percent.
The weekend’s events transformed
the College into a festive place, with receptions, a
dinner dance, a chapel service, a brunch, and the inaugural
ceremony. The campus was decked in black and gold, and
the president hustled from event to event to greet well-wishers
and discuss the College’s future.
Photos of the inauguration weekend
are available on the Adrian College website (www.adrian.edu).
Also available is the president’s speech, and
more details about the Renaissance Plan.
The inauguration is the formal induction
of the president into office. Docking took over July
1, and has been actively engaged in his role as leader
Adrian College is an independent liberal
arts college related to The United Methodist Church
that is located in southeast Michigan. A long line of
presidents has served the College with distinction since
its founding in 1859.