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Dr. Jean Hale shares why she chose Westminster

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Posted on Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Last month, Westminster College warmly welcomed Dr. Jean Hale to her new role as Vice President of Institutional Advancement. This month, she dove deeper in a Q&A session about why she chose Westminster, the "pivots" in her life that have shaped her, and what she likes to do when she's not hard at work in Old Main.

You’re here! What excites you most about joining the Westminster College community?

The people and the deep connection between the college, the community, and beyond. I’ve learned already of the many faculty and staff who serve the community: on Council, in Rotary, in faith-based organizations, and so much more. I’m also really interested in the stories of endurance and resilience that mark the College’s 170-year history. I am especially excited to be serving the College under the exemplary leadership of President Richardson. 

What has been a significant “pivot” in your life? What did you learn from it and how does it shape who you are and what you deliver today? 

Lots of pivots, but one in particular was overcoming obstacles to complete my education while working full-time. Earning my bachelor’s degree, and then two more degrees, has been life changing. While the credentials opened new professional opportunities for me, the educational experience—and the commitment of faculty in supporting my journey—were really the catalysts for expanding my world view. Quite frankly, the inestimable impact of higher education on my life is one of the reasons I’ve chosen a career in Advancement in higher education: lots of people have the desire and ability but not always the opportunity to further their education. Anyone who wants to ask me more is welcomed to reach out!

When you’re not working, what can most people find you doing?

I love being outdoors so you may find me day-hiking with my spouse and with our son or daughter, when they’re back home, or bicycling with friends on the many outstanding bike trails in Western Pennsylvania or enjoying the rivers and lakes in the region. I am usually in the midst of several books at a time. I serve on a nonprofit board and until recently volunteered at an animal rescue. I am open to finding opportunities near campus where I can lend a hand!

What do you hope to explore in or around New Wilmington first? 

The IA team prepared an amazing book for me which included their recommendations for fun things to do & great places to eat, so I’ll be checking off all those boxes! I’ve already visited the Apple Castle (won’t reveal how many times!) for fresh donuts and produce (mostly donuts). 

What do you look forward to most about meeting Westminster College alumni and friends?

Their life stories, how they experienced Westminster College as students, and how they experience (or would like to experience!) their connection to the College as alumni and friends. I especially look forward to hearing their recollections of the people and events that likely aren’t found in any of the “official” publications but were memorable and influential, nonetheless. I’m ready to hear your story!  

To learn more about Institutional Advancement at Westminster - or to find ways to help students continue to flourish, visit here