Epistle 2020

We had our annual membership meeting on August 1, 2020, and here is our epistle:

Dear Friends,

On this fortieth anniversary of the founding of the Friends Association for Higher Education, we send our greetings, our gratitude and our well-wishes to all of you who have continued to support our organization in the midst of profound upheaval and transition in our global society caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Despite having to postpone this year’s conference at Earlham College to 2021, FAHE remains a strong and vital organization dedicated to serving the needs of our individual members and institutions. FAHE is a precious and unique organization whose participants have experienced the mutually transformative potential of Friends education and seek to find ever-new ways, in the words of FAHE co-founder T. Canby Jones, to speak to and honor the Inward Teacher in every student who comes our way.

We wish to express our deepest gratitude to Kimberly Haas, our coordinator in Philadelphia, whose administrative skill, invaluable expertise, creativity and hard work have assured the continued flourishing and growth of FAHE over the past eight years. Sadly, FAHE’s Executive Committee, in their role as financial stewards of the organization, reached the very difficult decision this past spring to eliminate Kimberly’s position, and Kimberly’s last day was June 30 of this year. Though many of us have expressed, in word and gift, our gratitude to Kimberly and our sadness at her parting, we also have realized that one crucial way we can honor her contributions to FAHE is by making sure we continue to support the programs and publications that Kimberly initiated and maintained over the past eight years.

Toward this end, Laura Rediehs has kindly offered to take over the vital work of maintaining and updating FAHE’s website, including publication and dissemination of FAHE’s newsletter. Laura has also invited FAHE Executive Committee members to participate in a visioning process facilitated by Gray Cox, a process that promises to help us all define where we hope to go as an organization in the coming years. David Harvey, in his role as FAHE’s present Treasurer, has taken on greater oversight of FAHE’s finances, including the collection of dues and donations. Paul Anderson continues to serve as general editor of FAHE’s Quakers in the Disciplines series, working together with Lonnie Valentine as editor of the upcoming seventh volume on Quakers and peacemaking. Special thanks go to Donn Weinholtz’s son Phil, whose company publishes the Quakers in the Disciplines volumes free of charge. Paul Moke and Gary Farlow will continue as co-editors of Quaker Higher Education, for which they are always seeking contributions. The prodigious energy and organizational acumen David Ross has offered us as co-clerk of the Membership and Advancement Committee in these last several months of transition have been indispensable. Walter Sullivan, working together as part of a logistics team with David Ross, has not only arranged for archival storage at Haverford College of FAHE’s paper records and documents from Kimberly’s office at Friends Center, but also has created and facilitated, along with David Ross, FAHE’s new Quaker Leadings in Higher Education monthly video series.

Through the dedication and hard work of these individuals and others, FAHE will continue to be able to offer a wonderful variety of fine programming and publications, and we look forward to next summer, when we can once again come together in person at Earlham College for our annual meeting. Though we are grateful to be able to see one another virtually, there is no substitute for meeting face to face. In the absence of our gathering this year, we were not able to collect dues as we normally would, and FAHE would certainly appreciate it if any who are able could renew their memberships for the coming year, and consider an additional donation if so moved. We also, of course, enthusiastically welcome any contribution of time, energy, or creativity folks might have to offer, including especially spreading the word about FAHE and inviting new members into our Friendly fold.

In these times of uncertainty and dynamic change, we hope you all are safe, healthy, and well.

In Peace and Deepest Gratitude,

Stephen Potthoff and Donn Weinholtz
FAHE Co-Clerks

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