Elizabeth M. Noonan
Executive Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Board of Trustees
Diane Keyser Wentworth
Associate Professor of Psychology
Chair, Department of Psychology
College at Florham
Professor of English
Interim Chair, Department of English, Communication and Philosophy
College at Florham
Accreditation is the foundation for our future. It is the mark of quality that enables other initiatives to blossom. So, with the stakes at their highest, the University turned to three key individuals. We asked them to take the wheel and steer us through a two-year winding route that would finish with a verdict from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
With uncommon expertise and unwavering tenacity these three leaders brought clarity to a complex set of requirements and comfortably cleared each hurdle. Their candid and forceful direction produced a powerful study that not only highlighted our accomplishments but directly confronted our challenges.
Diane Wentworth, an esteemed professor, was co-chair of the Steering Committee. Diane is the quintessential truth seeker, constantly searching for multiple viewpoints and perceptively connecting the strands that unite our community. An articulate advocate for the faculty point of view, she balanced that important role with sensitivity and consideration toward the many needs of diverse groups. Skillful in handling multiple tasks, while keeping her eyes perpetually focused on the big picture, Diane’s precision and persistence set the tone for all involved.
Beth Noonan also served as co-chair of our Steering Committee and was the perfect complement to Diane. There is no detail that escapes Beth’s attention and no stone she won’t turn to solve a problem. Diminutive in stature but colossal in will, she refuses to become derailed by setbacks and obstacles. When the volunteers had trouble, when personalities clashed, when reports bogged down, when bureaucratic snags emerged, when scheduling conflicts arose, Beth found the answer, and time and time again integrated all the discordant elements into a coherent whole.
Martin Green edited our massive self-study — the second consecutive Middle States self-study this reliable servant of FDU has molded. The very embodiment of the title “wordsmith,” Martin cleaned up copy, closed holes, aligned styles, identified missing elements and diligently delivered drafts in accordance with each deadline. But his scope went beyond the imposing chore of making all our information make sense. He was the ultimate team player, fully participating in each level of the process and drawing on his experience to guide all those who at times needed a helpful hand.
Each of these pivotal people would quickly assert that they would have been rendered helpless without an inspired collection of countless contributions. That is true. This terrific trio was skillfully supported by a volunteer army of 100, who were in turn documenting a decade of achievements by thousands of faculty, administrators, staff and students. I deeply applaud and thank everyone who helped us excel.
Nevertheless, every winning team has stars. And today I recognize the profound contributions of these three first-team all-stars. Due to their extraordinary efforts, our great qualities were perfectly presented and readily recognized, and, thus, we met every standard of accreditation.
For so superbly steering this exhaustive effort, for providing us with measurements for the present and guidance for the future, and above all, for helping us to make the compelling case that our institution is worthy of continued accreditation and, in fact, commendation, I gratefully present a Presidential Citation to Diane Wentworth, Beth Noonan and Martin Green.
J. Michael Adams
September 27, 2006