In 2006, the Randolph-Macon Woman’s College Board of Trustees made a series of difficult, controversial decisions as part of its new strategic plan. This February, the members of that board were honored with a national award for the leadership, courage, and innovative thinking exhibited in the face of adversity.
The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) presented its inaugural John W. Nason Board Governance Award to the Randolph College Board of Trustees during a special presentation at a regular Board meeting in February.
AGB serves more than 1,300 member boards, 1,900 institutions, and 40,000 individuals, and Randolph was one of six institutions nationwide to receive the honor. The Board was also recognized during an official ceremony with the AGB in April.
The AGB award recognizes the leadership of Randolph’s Board of Trustees during a decade of challenging times for the College. As part of the strategic plan adopted in 2006, the Board of Trustees made the decision to admit men for the first time in its history and, consequently, change the name of the College. The strategic plan, revised in 2011 and again in October 2015, has remained focused on fulfilling the mission of the College while ensuring its longevity by securing its financial future.
“Fortunately for Randolph College, these women and men faced these challenges head on,” said Bradley W. Bateman, president of Randolph College. “Without their forward thinking and knowledge that it was imperative to make decisions about the College’s future during a time of strength, rather than a time of weakness, Randolph might not be the stronger, more vibrant institution that it is today.”
Susan Johnston, vice president and COO of AGB, said AGB’s panel of judges was impressed by the Board’s bold and resolute action in the midst of the complex and emotionally charged period.
“Boards hope they never have to face even one of the challenges that the Randolph College board faced over the last decade … You had to face them all,” Johnston said. “The Board’s philanthropy during this period, its embrace of its fiduciary duties, its willingness to take unpopular stands for the future of the institution, and its commitment to the highest levels of board performance are exemplary and admirable.”
During the presentation at Randolph, Cathy Havener Greer ’73, the current chair of the Board, praised her colleagues. “The courage, strength, and commitment to the College shown by members of Randolph’s Board over the past years set the stage for those of us who have followed,” she said.
“They upheld their fiduciary responsibility and moved this College past a trying financial time. Thanks to these careful decisions, Randolph College is a stronger college, poised to make significant gains in the future.”