In His Words
At Gettysburg College, we endeavor to develop actively engaged and informed global citizens, empowered to make a difference in our world. Our President-elect embodies this charge. Learn about Bob Iuliano, the 15th President of Gettysburg College, and his thoughts on our inspiring history, goals for the future, and more—in his own words.
“I can’t imagine anything more inspiring than joining the Gettysburg community and helping the faculty, students, and staff ‘do great work.’ My life has been devoted to and defined by higher education, and the opportunity to come to a campus where the faculty and students work so closely together on the shared endeavor of learning and advancing knowledge is enormously exciting. I look forward to meeting the faculty, students, staff, trustees, and alumni who bring this campus to life, and to working together to help the College pursue its highest ambitions. I am also looking forward to cheering on our students in the classroom, on the playing fields, on the stage, and in their many other pursuits!
We stand on the shoulders of our predecessors. The Gettysburg of today was built from the contributions of students, faculty, trustees, alumni, parents, staff, and countless others who made the College what it is. Alumni should be proud of their alma mater: its unwavering commitment to a liberal arts education and to preparing students to lead lives of meaning, service, and engagement; its embrace of its history (and its place in American history), complemented by a restless ambition as it looks to its future; the importance it places on building a community that supports one another and that is dedicated to providing the opportunity for everyone to be their best selves and do their best work; and so much more. I hope to nurture these commitments, and to ensure that the College continues to evolve so that the students of tomorrow get the same unparalleled experience that has long been the hallmark of a Gettysburg education.”
“From my very first introduction to the College, it was clear to me that Gettysburg’s greatest strength is its people and the community they have built. The students, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees I have met reflect a deep and impressive commitment to the institution. My most immediate goal is to come to know the people better who make up the community, to listen to their hopes and concerns for the College, to understand their experiences, and to be informed by those discussions in setting my goals for myself and my aspirations for the College.
Gettysburg has never stood still; its history is marked by change, experimentation, and adaptation, informed by a set of core values grounded in the liberal arts education. This is essential to the enterprise: as society changes, the College must (and has) as well if we want to prepare students effectively for the world that awaits them outside our gates. We want to be smart but bold; willing to experiment, to learn from others, and to collaborate with others; and ultimately to recognize, in the words of President Kennedy, that we should ‘hold fast to the best of the past and move fast to the best of the future.’
This much is clear: I want to build on the College’s strong national reputation and make sure that students and faculty near and far know the Gettysburg we know and therefore understand it is a place for them. I want to continue and further the College’s efforts to create a diverse and inclusive campus. I want to engage our alumni, to strengthen their connections to the campus and to keep them abreast of the remarkable work by our students and faculty. I want to think creatively and expansively about creating a resource base to support the College’s present and future ambitions. And I want to make sure we build on our strengths, foster a culture of innovation, and keep a steady eye on ensuring that we continue to meet the changing needs of our students and society at large.”
“Creating a diverse campus is essential to our mission. It reflects an awareness that talent knows no economic, racial, ideological, geographic, or cultural boundaries. It is the precondition to a vibrant educational environment. We learn best when exposed to difference—different life experiences, different perspectives, different backgrounds, different beliefs, different identities. That exposure causes us to question our assumptions, to see the world through the eyes of others, to develop habits of empathy. While a diverse community is essential to our mission, it is not alone sufficient. We must also create an inclusive environment, one where every student, regardless of background, can thrive.
Having begun to study the history of the College, it is increasingly clear to me that the instinct to inclusivity is hard-wired into Gettysburg’s DNA. From its Lutheran grounding to its comparatively early admission of women, Gettysburg has long been committed to broadening access and giving every student the opportunity to fulfil their potential. It’s why we favor an intimate scale, so that students can get the sort of personalized attention from faculty and others that holds the promise of profoundly affecting their education.
In that sense, creating an inclusive environment is not a new idea or a new obligation. But it does require purposeful work on our part. It is important to recognize that as our student body changes, and as the world that awaits our graduates changes, the commitment to inclusivity means that we must carefully examine how we structure our undertakings. Our goal is to create the conditions where every student, including those who may not have been well represented on campus in another time, feels that they are full members of the community and able to fully engage in all that Gettysburg offers.
As the College has recognized, this is important work—work that I am determined to continue and enhance. What I have learned at Harvard will help inform my views, but we should look broadly at what other institutions have done and ultimately pursue those approaches that hold the greatest promise for our campus.”
“My family is wonderful! I’ve been married for 30 years; my wife and life partner, Susan, is eagerly looking forward to all that’s ahead for us. She has been actively involved in our town’s government for decades and is excited about making new friends and finding ways to contribute to the College and community. Our older son, Jeff, is pursuing a PhD in astrophysics at Johns Hopkins; his wife, Paulina, is pursuing her PhD in sociology at Penn State. They live just up the road outside of Harrisburg. Our younger son, Ben, recently received his undergraduate degree in comparative religion and landed his dream job working for a video game company. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his fiancé, Julia, who is getting her PhD in sociology at the University of Wisconsin. Both couples started dating in high school and have been going strong since!
In my free time you can find me: Out for a run, ideally training for a race (next up: a half-marathon that raises money for police and firefighters injured in the line of duty); trying (perhaps in vain!) to improve my skills as an amateur photographer; traveling; visiting with family and friends; or reading, most likely in history or science.”
Do you have a question for our new president? We are soliciting questions from the Gettysburg College community—email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your question, coupled with President-elect Iuliano’s response, may appear in the fall issue of Gettysburg magazine.