On July 19, the University of Redlands welcomed its newest Bulldog—Krista L. Newkirk, the 12th president of the University since its founding in 1907.
“I am honored, enthusiastic, and grateful to be joining your extraordinary University of Redlands community,” she wrote to faculty, students, and staff on her first day. “When I arrived on our Redlands campus early this morning and looked out on this beautiful place, I was reminded of the meaning of new beginnings .… As I write this message, my family is packing up our belongings and preparing for the move across the country. We are excited to settle into this new community and look forward with great anticipation to beginning this new journey with you.”
Newkirk also noted her commitment to get to know members of the community, listen to them, and learn from them in the process of working together to envision the future of the University. Dozens of events—including Town Halls, small group meetings, Cookies with Cookie! (visits with Newkirk and her dog, Cookie, for casual conversation and a snack), and an All-University Lunch—have been scheduled over the coming months.
Bulldogs can see some of Newkirk’s activities during her first week (#KristasFirstWeek) on Instagram (where she hosted a takeover of the University’s main account), Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, including Newkirk’s personal Twitter account.
Moments captured on these channels include:
- Newkirk’s arrival at the President’s Office in the Administration Building on her first day with summer assistant Wenmei Bai ’21
- A stroll through La Fourcade Community Garden with Naslund Endowed Dean of the School of Education Mario Martinez after her first official Cabinet meeting:
- A visit to Chemistry Professor Rebecca Lyons’ lab in Hedco Hall, where students Summer Brown ’22, Jason Waters ’21, Shaun Weatherly ’21, and Audrey Braun ’22 explained their scientific research on pollutants found in air and water
- A conversation with Joe Quinones ’24 (Johnston) and Collin O’Connor ’22 in The Den
- A tour of campus in which Newkirk greeted faculty, staff, and students and snapped a selfie with Head Swim & Dive Coach Leslie Whittemore and Bulldog athletes
The meetings with Newkirk generated much enthusiasm.
“Meeting President Newkirk was such a great experience!” said Lyons. “She is a very approachable and relatable person. I am enthusiastic about that style of leadership, and I think that is just what Redlands needs right now! It really makes me look forward to working with her. I was impressed that she had done her research about what the students were doing in lab and had relevant questions to ask them.”
Weatherly added, “President Newkirk is incredibly friendly, supportive, and inquisitive. I’m eager to see how the University evolves under its new, enthusiastic leader.”