March 2, 2021

Dear Members of the Connecticut College Community,

I am writing to let you know that, after five years of leading our division of institutional equity and inclusion, Dean John McKnight will be leaving Connecticut College to begin a new role as Dean of the College at Haverford College. His last day at Conn will be June 30.

We have benefited greatly from John’s talents as an administrator, educator, and communicator. In the time since he arrived in New London, he has helped Connecticut College significantly advance our strategic goals around equity, inclusion, and full participation. Notable accomplishments during his tenure include the development of a strong, integrated team of professional staff and student leaders; the publication of a comprehensive Equity and Inclusion Action Plan; the launch of the Agnes Gund ’60 Dialogue Project; the founding of a new public lecture series on race; the ratification of a curricular requirement on social difference and power; the release of a seminal report on police reform in the City of New London; and the creation of the first annual conference on social justice at Connecticut College. It is not surprising that, in our recent campus-wide review of our strategic plan, Building on Strength, these achievements were seen as among the most significant of the last five years.

Clearly, as a community, we have come far under John’s leadership. Our evolution is the result of a whole network of people—students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni, trustees, and local community partners—working together toward a shared vision. John helped to inspire that collective effort, and we should all be grateful. I certainly am.

We will now begin the process of identifying John’s successor, and I will write again with more information as it becomes available. Later this spring, of course, there will be occasions to recognize John’s many contributions to Connecticut College.

In the meantime, we cannot rest. We have much more work to do together to realize our goal of full participation: the vision of a campus and community where all people can thrive, reach their potential, and contribute to our greater good. The work of so many within our community over several years summons us to do more. I remain deeply committed to advancing this project with you and to doing our part in creating a more equitable and just society.

For now, please join me in sending thanks and best wishes to John and his family as they embark on their next chapter.

Katherine Bergeron