Goucher College inducts president

After two months on the job, Ungar formally takes post

`A man for this season'

October 27, 2001|By Alec MacGillis | Alec MacGillis,SUN STAFF

At a ceremony stocked with political notables and shadowed by the war on terrorism, journalist Sanford J. Ungar formally took the helm of Goucher College yesterday, saying he looked forward to leading the school in a time of crisis.

"It feels just wonderful," said Ungar, 55, as he headed into his inauguration at Kraushaar Auditorium, two months into his first semester as president. "This is the best place I've ever worked."

Ungar, a native of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and a graduate of Harvard University, arrives at the 2,000-student private college after a journalism career that included being a co-host of "All Things Considered" at National Public Radio and contributing to The Washington Post.

He served as dean of the School of Communication at American University for 13 years, and, most recently, as director of Voice of America, the international broadcasting organization.

Lt. Gov. Katherine Kennedy Townsend predicted Ungar's background would serve Goucher well at a time when its students and faculty are searching for an understanding of the current crisis.

"He is truly one of our generation's men for all seasons, and he is certainly a man for this season," she said.

Maryland's two U.S. senators, both of whom attended the inauguration, agreed, adding that the Baltimore community could benefit from Ungar, too, because colleges and universities assume an important role in times of trouble.

"Nothing stands more for the American dream than our open access to higher education," said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who noted that her debut in the national media was an Ungar piece about the battle against a proposed expressway through Southeast Baltimore.

"I love Goucher, but I've got to tell you, the Taliban really wouldn't like Goucher," she added. "It wouldn't like what Goucher stands for, and it wouldn't like Sanford Ungar."

Since arriving at Goucher, Ungar has assembled two campus panels with experts on the Middle East to discuss the fight against terrorism.

In his inauguration speech, he indicated this was just the start of trying to "rededicate [Goucher] to genuine internationalism" and "enrich our curriculum with international perspectives."

One of the lessons of the current crisis, he said, is that campuses and the country as a whole can't afford to ignore the rest of the world.

"I really want to do more reaching out, more talking about international issues," he said.

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