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Chabotar breathes new life into Guilford
While being interviewed for
the position of Guilford
College's eighth president, Kent
Chabotar arrived in Greensboro by
plane and was driven to the college
campus. In summer 2002, he made
his first solo car trip to Greensboro
and, unfamiliar with the area and driv
ing through Greensboro on his own for
the first time, he could not figure out
where the campus was.
"The signs marking the college were
so bad that I couldn't find it," he said.
"I was at the Friendly Shopping Center
before I decided to call Joyce (Eaton)
to direct me to school."
The incident inspired Chabotar to
add more prominent Guilford College
markers on the outskirts of campus.
Making Guilford more noticeable has'
apparently been Chabotar's plan from
Since October of his first year,
Chabotar and the Strategic Long
Two leave Women's Studies Dept.
Continued from Page 1
Even though the retirement celebra
tion had an air of joyous commemora
tion, the loss to the department - and
college - was evident.
"We are losing a lot of knowledge of
Guilford's past," said junior Sara Kate
Kneidel, a Women's Studies major. "It
isn't necessarily bad; it just means we
have to move forward. It does affect
our understanding of the present."
Gibson and Stoneburner have left
lasting impressions in their time at
Guilford, as can be seen in the excite
ment in both themselves and their stu
"I loved teaching classes outdoors,"
said Gibson. "[One time] we were
under a tree and everybody was
speaking golden words and the tree
was shedding golden leaves. It was
one of those rare classes where
everybody was on track."
"[Gibson] really listens to students,"
said Gwen Madill, senior Women's
Studies major. "The fact she's writing
down stuff we say in class - it shows
she's learning from us."
Range Planning (SLRP) committee
have been devising a plan to bring
prominence to Guilford College. They
are striving to make Guilford a well
known liberal arts school strong in
specific academic areas. The second
draft of the plan was e-mailed to the
community on April 1.
"Right now I feel like we're too thinly
spread," said Chabotar. "Guilford
needs direction. It needs to know what
it's good at. People should come here
because Guilford has a reputation for
strength in some area whether its
forensic biology or social activism."
Chabotar knew he had his work cut
out for him when he accepted the
position and he says that he is up to
"People were not reluctant to level
with me," he said. "They showed me
both the problems of the school and
the opportunity that it offered. You've
got to remember that I'm a finance and
fact guy - I like data collecting. I knew
I was investing in a potential winner."
Chabotar intends to address certain
"[Stoneburner] has [also] been a big
part of my Guilford experience," Madill
continued. "There's something about
Carol's investment in Women's
Studies that I'm worried it might lose
after she's gone."
"[Stoneburner] pushed me to think
about parts of myself I probably
wouldn't have thought about," said
Due to the theme of the event - that
of celebration - the two speakers did
not reflect on their internal grief to the
"[Stoneburner] was mourning too,"
said Gibson. "I have mourned a lot
over the semester ... I've been in
school since I've been five. What the
hell is the world outside like? It's scary
to me -1 feel like I need to go find out."
"I intentionally asked for (the cele
bration to be held on) April Fools' Day,"
said Stoneburner. "I needed to try to
be true to my feminist convictions."
This year marks the anniver
sary of the Women's Studies program
at Guilford. Since its inception in 1974,
over 180 students have majored or
concentrated in women's studies.
campus-wide problems such as the
school's ongoing retention difficulties.
Currently, retention rates are average
but, according to Chabotar, not good
enough. He compares the image of
the school to a Rorschach inkblot test.
"Sometimes it's unclear as to what
exactly the image of Guilford is. A lot of
students come to this school expect
ing something completely different
than what it actually is."
He sees admissions literature show
ing the diversity of the student body as
a possible solution.
"I want to see an athlete, a scholar,
a kid with blue hair, a homecoming
king or queen, and a social activist,"
he said. "That's what the real world is
In addition, the president would like
to increase the school's size to 3,000,
as he believes that Guilford will have
more room for academic growth with a
larger student body.
"Right now we have 90 programs,"
he said. "That's too many for our cur
Continued from Page 1
mailboxes. The roof of the addition will
feature skylights, emphasizing natural
lighting even in the basement level.
Renovation plans also include over
hauling Sternberger, the
Underground, and non-public areas,
such as offices, health services and
career planning. The plans also antic
ipate moving the Theater department
to Dana Auditorium, which would then
become a performing arts center.
This will not happen anytime soon,
Zerbe said. "For the next five years
we're in Sternberger, unless someone
walks up and plunks down five to ten
Some students and faculty voiced
concerns about the ecological sound
ness of the new Founders, both during
construction and operation. The class
of 'O4 has elected to donate a sum
towards making the New Founders
environmentally friendly in multiple
ways, induing the use of solar power
Geology Professor Angela Moore is
enthusiastic about the renovations,
recalling that when she arrived at
APRIL 9, 2004
rent size. A larger amount of students
and faculty will give us 90 programs
that really mean something."
Guilford is Chabotar's first experi
ence with a Quaker school, and he
has no intention of eliminating
Guilford's religious affiliation.
"My plan for this school is to fix the
things that need fixing without wreck
ing the things that are OK," he said.
"Our Quaker heritage is one aspect of
the school that we need to make sure
It's been almost two years since
Chabotar became president. He has
come to appreciate many aspects of
the school, from its uniquely diverse
student body to the way campus looks
in the spring.
But he knows that there are still
changes that need to be made.
"This is a college that needs to
believe in itself. It needs to be tolerant
of differences. Guilford needs to
decide what it's going to be and
uphold that image."
Guilford she filled out a survey that
asked what she would improve about
Moore says her response was
instantaneous. "Founders. It's terrible.
As far as environmentalism is con
cerned, Guilford has a long way to go,
but this is a start," referring to environ
mentalism's priority in the renovations.
Student reactions were generally
supportive, mainly concerned with
"It's a good idea," said first-year
Sarah Meyer. "I don't know if I'd spend
five million dollars, but I think there
need to be a space for students to
hang out that's separate from where
the administration's offices are."
Sophomore Hope Forester was less
enthusiastic, saying "I'd rather have a
mediocre Founders hall than a ton of
But first-year Tristan Wilson took the
long view. "Schools that have newer
buildings and higher tuition rates tend
to be perceived as more selective ...
That's why they always take prospec
tives through Frank. I'm not thrilled
about the cost, but I feel it will make
my degree worth more."