Champlain College inaugurates Alejandro Hernandez as 10th president
Festive events culminate in an official ceremony, charting a “ready” path for the future
Vermont Business Magazine Champlain College officially inaugurated its 10th president, Alejandro (“Alex”) Hernandez, on Saturday. Centered around the theme of “preparedness,” Hernandez outlined plans to “build a better future” for students, the college, and Vermont.
“Education creates opportunity, and I’ve dedicated my life to the idea that we can build institutions that prepare students, not by luck or privilege, but by design,” Hernandez said, reflecting on the fact of not feeling prepared at the start of life. Champlain’s model of education is intentionally designed to have students “ready for work.” Ready for life. Ready to make a difference,” he explained.
The 90-minute ceremony began with a vibrant inaugural procession, followed by remarks that honored Champlain’s rich history and trumpeted aspirations for this new chapter.
Outlining his vision for building a better future, Hernandez highlighted four key initiatives he is undertaking in the next chapter of Champlain. These initiatives will reinforce Champlain’s long-standing reputation as a leader in career-focused learning and create additional opportunities within its unique and highly effective flipped curriculum model.
Serve as an economic engine for Vermont. Hernandez announced a new innovation center in partnership with Hula to elevate entrepreneurship in Vermont. To kick off the partnership, Hernandez will co-teach a masterclass in entrepreneurship at Hula, featuring Vermont startup founders and executives. The collaboration will include education and development programs, internships, faculty collaborations, student projects through the college’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and shared spaces. Champlain College’s Lakeside campus will also be the epicenter of other iconic employer partnerships.
Be the best place in the world for women in cybersecurity. Champlain College has one of the best cybersecurity and digital forensics programs in the country. Cybersecurity professionals and alumni Brianna Blanchard (BS ’11, MS ’16) and Jess Turner (BS ’22) will co-chair the Women in Cybersecurity Leadership Council to shape this important effort. The initiative will provide a plan to support more female-identifying students and other underrepresented groups in STEAM fields.
Go full steam ahead. As part of its R/Evolutionary 2030 strategic plan, Champlain will launch new degrees in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) fields such as product design, as well as expansion into health sciences and bio-life. The college will build on its radically pragmatic, practical and interdisciplinary approach to learning and prepare students to be Champlain Ready in growing sectors like digital health and synthetic biology.
Be more human in a digital world. In a world reshaped by technology, it’s those traits that make us most human that drive long-term student success: empathy, relationship building, working across differences, a of business. These skills are taught through the college core curriculum and global experiences in Dublin and Montreal. Champlain College will be a leader in weaving together human skills and digital skills – and is launching a Digital Humanities major in fall 2024 for students to develop the skills needed to meet social challenges.
Among the more than 180 attendees and distinguished guests at today’s ceremony were Mayor Weinberger, Vice President Dr. Monique Taylor, Council Chair Judy O’Connell, Alumni Representative Megg Daudelin, Chiefs of local businesses, state and local officials, university colleagues and Champlain College delegates. , administrators, alumni, professors and students.
About Champlain College: Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, private, not-for-profit college located in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and more than 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate programs and certificates. Champlain’s distinctive career-focused approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience combine to create knowledge. Champlain ranks in several U.S. News and World Report “Best Colleges” categories, including Best Worth Schools, Best Colleges in the North, Best Colleges for Veterans, and Best in Social Mobility. Champlain was also listed among The Princeton Review’s “388 Best Colleges” in 2023 and was recognized as a 2022 College of Distinction for its “Commitment, Teaching, Community, and Outcomes.” For more information, visit www.champlain.edu.
Burlington, Vermont, November 5, 2022—Champlain College