Published April 09, 2015

‘Think Anew, Act Anew’

Dr. Clarence R. Wyatt to be inaugurated as Monmouth’s 14th president on April 17
  • President Clarence Wyatt and First Lady Lobie Stone
With a message of “Think Anew, Act Anew,” Dr. Clarence R. Wyatt will be inaugurated as Monmouth College’s 14th president on April 17 at 2 p.m. on the Wallace Hall Plaza. The rain location is the Huff Athletic Center.
 
Wyatt took office on July 1, 2014, coming to campus from Centre College, where he was Chief Planning Officer and Special Assistant to the President, and also the holder of the Pottinger Distinguished Professorship of History. A 1978 graduate of Centre, Wyatt received his master’s degree and Ph.D. in history from the University of Kentucky, in 1984 and 1990, respectively.
  
He began working at his alma mater the year following his graduation, beginning a distinguished career during which he played a key role in helping Centre rise to a prominent place among national liberal arts colleges. Wyatt was centrally involved in Centre’s fundraising efforts, helping to plan each of the college’s capital campaigns since 1979. He also directed Centre’s strategic planning process since its inception in the early 1980s.
  
He is the author of “Paper Soldiers: The American Press and the Vietnam War,” an acclaimed book about U.S. press coverage of the war. He co-edited “The Vietnam Era,” a digital collection of essays and primary sources, and has contributed chapters and essays to several collections on the Vietnam War.
  
Wyatt is married to Lobie Stone, a Centre alumna, who received her B.F.A. in studio art from the University of Minnesota. Stone has had an extensive career in business, working as an oil trader and stock broker in New Orleans and Houston and, for several years, running Lobie Stone Design Studio, a successful design practice in San Antonio.
  
The title of Wyatt’s inaugural address is inspired by another Illinois president, Abraham Lincoln, and a message he sent to Congress late in 1862.
 
“President Lincoln declared that ‘the dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. … As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew,’” said Wyatt. “Think anew. Act anew. We seek to prepare our students for lives empowered by these words, and these words will energize and guide all that the Monmouth family does to make our strong college a place of national consequence. Lobie and I are honored to be a part of the Monmouth family at this exciting time.”
  
Before being formally presented for inauguration by Dr. John A. Roush, the president of Centre College, Wyatt will be greeted by six individuals, representing entities connected to the college. They will include Faculty Senate president Marsha Dopheide; facilities management team member Mark Ogorzalek, on behalf of MC’s staff; student affairs representative Stephanie Lankford, a senior from Effingham; Alumni Association president Jeff Miller ’84; Monmouth mayor Rod Davies ’74, on behalf of the city; and Dr. Jeffrey E. Arnold, executive director of the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities.
  
Wyatt believes he joined Monmouth College at an opportune time.
  
“American higher education is under great scrutiny and pressure,” he observed, “as its value and affordability are being loudly questioned. But Monmouth College is addressing these concerns through innovative approaches to teaching and learning and through a commitment to being a place of high quality and high opportunity. Monmouth College can articulate the power and relevance of the residential liberal arts experience, and help lead the evolution of that experience in the 21st century.”
  
Since arriving at Monmouth, Wyatt and Stone have immersed themselves in the “Monmouth experience.” One of Wyatt’s main objectives has been engaging the community in the creation of a comprehensive and inclusive culture of strategic planning, and working to gather the resources that will enable the college to invest immediately in key strategic initiatives. He has also focused on enhancing the college’s enrollment management, marketing and communications efforts.
  
With her background in the arts, design, and historic preservation, Stone has involved herself in work to enhance even more the college’s already-beautiful campus. Her first efforts are focusing on developing a program to preserve and rejuvenate the college’s wonderful architectural heritage. She is also leading the development of a program of tree-planting on the campus, and a planting ceremony in commemoration of the inauguration will be held the day following the event, April 18, at 10 a.m. on the Wallace Hall lawn.
  
Activities on Inauguration Day will include a student showcase from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on the main concourse of the Huff Center; an all-campus reception at 3:30 p.m. on Gracie Peterson Plaza outside of Wells Theater; and a campus cookout at 5 p.m. in The Quad. At the showcase, exemplary students, selected to represent their major departments, will present poster sessions, artwork, readings and multimedia projects.
 
More information about the inauguration and a schedule of inaugural week activities is available at: monmouthcollege.edu/inauguration.
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