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Dear Colleagues,

As I retire as Founding Executive Director of the Talloires Network, I would like to say what a great privilege it has been to work with you all —  to support the dynamic leadership of colleagues around the world who are expanding the global higher education civic engagement movement.  Many thanks for your warm colleagueship.  Through our combined efforts the engaged university truly is replacing the ivory tower.

A defining strength of our global coalition is that its development has been entirely a story of collective leadership.  I am especially grateful for the extraordinary leadership of the university heads who founded TN and organized their peers to join them. My professional life changed dramatically in September 2005 when I was inspired by the visions of participants in that first convening in Talloires, France, of university presidents, vice-chancellors and rectors, and other leaders  —  Brenda Gourley, Monica Jimenez, Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Gasim Badri, Julian Crampton, Jack DeGioia, Sari Nusseibeh, Tom Ehrlich, Iqal Paroo, Liz Hollander, and Jose Ignacio Moreno, to name just a few.

From the very start, the Network has been governed by an exceptional Steering Committee.  We all are indebted to this amazing group of practical visionaries.  Please join me in saluting the individuals who served as SC Chairs and Vice-Chairs and have done so much heavy lifting to shape and expand TN —  Larry Bacow, Tufts President Emeritus, who convened and chaired  the founding conference and served as Chair of the Steering Committee (2005-20ll), Mark Gearan, President, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Chair (2011-2014), and Tony Monaco, Tufts President, (Chair 2014-present); Jan Reid, Vice-Chancellor Emeritus, University of Western Sydney, Vice-Chair (2005-2014) and Cheryl de la Rey, University of Pretoria, Vice-Chair (2014-present).

I greatly appreciate the vital contributions of many colleagues who co-developed TN:  TN Secretariat staff colleagues Lorlene Hoyt, Jennifer Catalano, Amy Newcomb Rowe, Brianda Hernandez Cavalcanti, Maureen Keegan, Rantimi Adetunji, Jacqueline DiMichele, Matias Ramos, and a host of Tufts graduate associates.  Join me also in celebrating the founding leadership of Susan Stroud, Executive Director, Innovations in Civic Participation, and her colleagues at ICP.  Susan and I co-organized the founding conference, and in the initial years of TN, ICP and Tufts together provided secretariat support.  ICP staffers Liz Babcock and John Pollock contributed mightily to building the Network.

As TN starts its second decade, it’s thrilling to witness the innovative and expanding efforts of the many other organizations with which we collaborate.  In one respect, the Talloires Network is a separate entity, but more fundamentally, it’s not – TN really is an umbrella, a web of mutually reinforcing alliances rooted in all parts of the world.  I’m particularly thankful to these collaborators and co-conspirators (see list below).

A huge thank you to our funding partners (again, list below).  Your generous financial support, guidance and advocacy have elevated our impacts immensely.

I know that TN will thrive going forward thanks to the Steering Committee’s strong leadership, an exceptional group of partner organizations, an outstanding secretariat staff, and great support from TN’s organizational base, Tufts’ Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life.  We are very fortunate that Lorlene Hoyt is now serving as Interim Executive Director.  She brings to that role unparalleled experience and creativity.

In the year ahead I will be helping to organize the next Talloires Network Leaders Conference hosted by Universidad Veracruzana, June 21-23, 2017.  I hope very much that you will attend and participate in charting the next stage of our global movement!

All the best,

Robert M. Hollister
Founding Executive Director Emeritus
Talloires Network


Thank you to TN’s partner organizations

National and regional networks:
Campus Compact (USA)
Campus Engage (Ireland)
Engagement Australia
Ma’an Alliance of Arab Universities (Middle East)
Latin American Center for Service-Learning
Pakistan Chapter of Talloires Network
Service Learning Asia Network
South African Higher Education Community Engagement Forum
University Social Responsibility Network (China and beyond)

Global networks and organizations:
Association of Commonwealth Universities
Global Alliance on Community-Engaged Research
Global University Network for Innovation
Innovations in Civic Participation
International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility, and Democracy
Kettering Foundation

Thank you to our funding partners

The MasterCard Foundation
Santander Universities
Tufts University
Walmart Foundation
The Omidyar Network
MacJannet Foundation
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Pearson Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation
New Eurasia Foundation
Lowell-Blake & Associates
Ishiyama Foundation
Ford Foundation
Breidenthal-Snyder Foundation
University of Western Sydney
C. F. Adams Charitable Trust