President Hilary Link, a Yale and Stanford alumnus, met about 100 students at an event at Hilltop House, her residence on Drew’s Campus. While enjoying an assortment of unlimited mini donuts and warm apple cider, Drew University students got to know the new Drew University President.
On Sept. 28, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. President Link interacted with multiple students representing a variety of Drew’s student population at her home. For Link, hosting the event outside her home was crucial.
“I thought it was important to have it at the house so students know where it is and feel comfortable coming here,” she said. She is open and willing to talk to students and is very immersed in campus life, even taking part in dining experiences at the Ehinger Center and The Commons.
Students even expressed their appreciation for Link’s mindset. One such student is Jada Reilly (‘25), a media and communications major who spoke with the president while indulging in the treats offered at this event. “She’s very down to earth and even invited students to chat with her,” Reilly said.
Besides the opportunity to personally meet Link, the Glazed and Confused donut truck was a prominent feature of the event. Students could eat as many donuts as they wanted, and there was no shortage of different flavor options, including classic, churro, cookies and cream, french toast, simply glazed, fruity pebbles, jelly and black forest pie.
This event’s cozy and fun atmosphere was accompanied by warm apple cider, heat lamps, various lawn games and a raffle with opportunities to win a multitude of Drew merch. Students could be seen playing Ring Toss, Can Jam, Hoops and Ladders, and Connect Four in the backyard of Link’s home.
In order to make this event more inclusive, Kathleen Frazier and Sophie Dixon, both transfer orientation leaders, advocated for new transfer students to attend as well. One of these transfer students was Reilly, who further described her pleasant experience.
For Reilly, one of her favorite parts of the event was getting to see how cool and relatable President Link is.
Attending a small liberal arts college like Drew comes with the ability to form close relationships with others. For Link, even though she valued her time spent at the colleges she attended, this is an experience she would have loved.
“I actually think being at a smaller school would’ve been better to connect with as far as faculty that we have here,” said Link. She believes that connections tend to be minimized at larger universities and “the faculty here are the same quality people that the faculty were like in an Ivy League school, such as Yale.” She describes Drew as a hidden gem and hopes to bring more attention to Drew moving forward.
This is the first of many events that Link will be hosting. For the future, she plans to work with the borough of Madison to help integrate students with the town. Students who are interested in speaking with President Link may schedule a meeting during her office hours by emailing email@example.com.
Robin Gindhart is a junior majoring in English with an emphasis in writing and communications.
Featured image courtesy of Robin Gindhart.