A Magical Spring
Many people ask me what it is like to be married to a magician. They expect that I will talk about secrets or card tricks. But the key thing is that marriage to a magician (at least to my magician), most essentially means living with a man keenly attuned to wonder, hope, holiness, and transformation. The cards, the coins, and the secret techniques are just occasions for sharing this deep grasp of the real magic of existence.
I just finished a wonderful new novel, Vaclav and Lena, that captures this essence of magic and magicians. In the story by a young novelist named Haley Tanner, Vaclav performs many tricks, but the most magical ones have nothing to do with his props; they have to do with his capacity to love.
Speaking of magical events, I had the pleasure of attending three graduations this spring season, watching students magically transformed into graduates. Abracadabra, indeed! The first was our own Austin College graduation. The next week, we headed to Pennsylvania to see our son graduate from Muhlenberg College. And a week after that, I served as the graduation speaker for the Episcopal School of Dallas. It was a very emotional month and a tremendous blessing to participate in these transitional moments. You can find pictures of the Austin College celebration as well as the text of my address to the graduates at Episcopal School of Dallas.
I don’t want to end this letter without mentioning the exciting things happening on campus as there is much to celebrate this spring. In June, we broke ground on the IDEA Center, a new 103,000-square-foot science center that long has been a campus dream. We also are celebrating a record admission year, with over 3,500 students competing for places this fall in our freshman class—a class we aim to bring in at 350 students. Our fantastic new housing is on schedule for an August opening, and every bed is reserved. Too, our faculty members are getting some of the recognition they richly deserve, quoted this spring in The New York Times, USA Today, and Dallas Morning News, among other outlets.
And, if you have read our strategic plan, Roots and Branches, you will see that we are making progress on our goals for the future.
I hope that you, too, had a magical spring and look with anticipation toward your fall and beyond. And, I certainly hope that your future involves visits to campus and continued interaction with faculty, students, alumni, and friends of Austin College. I’ve found that this truly is a magical place.
Marjorie Hass, President