‘An unwavering commitment to excellence in academic affairs’

Hiram Jones Professor of Classics Daniel Taylor

Editor’s note: Professor Taylor delivered the following remarks at the faculty meeting following President Warch’s retirement announcement, and was kind enough to allow us to reprint them here.

As some, though probably not all, of you know, Richard Warch came to Lawrence as Vice President of Academic Affairs in 1977 and was elevated to the presidency two years later. Rik has recently announced that he will retire at the end of the next academic year, in June of 2004, after the second longest tenure as president in the history of the university. Lawrence, however, is about quality, not quantity, and it is the quality of his service to Lawrence that counts and for which all Lawrentians, both on and off campus, are ever so grateful. President Warch’s accomplishments are many: he has achieved unparalleled success in development and alumni affairs; he has memorized the names and faces of thousands of students, parents, alumni, friends, and, of course, faculty and staff; he has built wonderful new buildings and renovated old ones everywhere on campus; he has garnered publicity and respect for the college all across the nation; he has attended thousands of concerts, plays, sports events, and lectures. The list of his achievements goes on and on and on, as we know better than anyone else. Surely, however, insofar as this group is concerned, Rik Warch’s most important contribution to Lawrence has been and still is his unwavering commitment to excellence in academic affairs. Rik has given his all for the curriculum, for the students, and for us, the faculty. It is in that spirit that I offer the following short but sincere expression of gratitude on behalf of us all.

Mr. President, we, the faculty of Lawrence University, thank you for your quarter-century of inspired leadership of this college. We especially thank you for the support and respect which you have accorded us and our teaching and research and for the support and respect you have given our students. We wish you and Margot the happiest of retirements when that time comes.