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New president at Goshen College discusses plan for future

GOSHEN, Ind. – Ahead of her inauguration as Goshen College’s 18th president, Dr. Rebecca Stoltzfus discussed her plans for the college’s future.

There’s a new face on Goshen College’s campus, and no she is not a freshman.

She began in November, but this weekend her title will become official when Goshen College inaugurates her.

Prior to Goshen College, Dr. Stoltzfus served as the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. She also worked at John Hopkins University as a professor. But she has roots at Goshen College.

“I’m what they call a legacy,” said Stoltzfus.

Dr. Stoltzfus graduated from Goshen College in 1983 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry. Both of her parents attended the college and her dad served as Goshen College’s president from 1984 to 1996. Her husband also holds a degree from the school. If that isn’t a big enough family affair, her two children are current students.

 “It has its complicated moments but it also has many, many wonderful moments,” said Stoltzfus.

Dr. Stoltzfus initially turned down the position, but eventually her loyalty to the Mapleleafs encouraged her to reconsider.

“I saw this as very interesting and important leadership opportunity for me and my career and to support the mission of Goshen College,” said Stoltzfus.

She’s now looking to the future and laid out three goals for the college.

“To be very clear about what makes us outstanding,” said Stoltzfus. “The second thing is to work toward inclusion and social belonging. A third is to develop and really build on the aspects of Goshen College that have made us distinctive historically.”

She said Goshen College already embodies that, but needs to build upon for future growth.

“My role at this time as I see it is to really build on those strengths and to look for even more ways to engage the city of Goshen, Elkhart County and this region and the world,” said Stoltzfus.    

Stoltzfus said that includes potentially offering classes to high school students and lifelong learners in the area and continue playing a role in funding and supporting the arts and entrepreneuership opportunities in Elkhart County.

“I look forward to learning more about this region as I like and work here and I will be looking for ways to make Goshen (College) responsive to our environment here,” said Stoltzfus.

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