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7

E L I Z A B E T H T O W N M A G A Z I N E • F A L L 2 0 1 1

B U I L D I N G A C O MM U N I T Y, S H A P I N G T H E M E S S A G E

She entered the room with a copy of “The Immor-tal Life of Henrietta Lacks” tucked under her arm. The book, this year’s common reading assignment for incoming first-year students, also will be read by faculty member and staff volunteers across campus who will lead small groups of students in book dis-cussions. Gail Bossenga, scholar in residence and wife of the College president, will lead a discus-sion of her own. “I’m looking forward to leading a group,” she said. “It’s a great way to get to know stu-dents here at Elizabethtown.” Although, as Bossen-ga tells it, she and her husband already have gotten to know a number of students during the quiet sum-mer months. “We met some wonderful students who helped us move in. Obviously E-town students are hard workers,” she quipped.

A former associate professor of history at The College of William & Mary, Bossenga is looking forward to a little bit of time outside the classroom. Initially, she will spend much of her time meet-ing donors and friends of E-town. “As I meet with people, I will determine my focus,” Bossenga said, adding that she isn’t interested in a formal tenured position. “I have been writing a book on the origin of the French Revolution for quite a while. I’d like to find time to write and finish the book.” And... maybe she’ll teach a course here and there. Born in Illinois, Bossenga grew up in Silver Spring, Md., before heading to Calvin College in Michigan where, in a freshman honors sociol-ogy class, she met Carl. Following their marriage, she headed to the University of Michigan, where she earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. She returned, along with Carl, to Calvin College to teach. Bossenga then went on to become an associate professor of history at the University of Kansas before joining the faculty at William & Mary.

Being new to south-central Pennsylvania, she and Carl have enjoyed exploring. “On my first visit to Hershey Gardens, I became a member,” she said. “I love gardening.” She also is enjoying visiting lo-cal coffee shops and meeting local business own-ers, some of whom have been helpful in finding

Meet Dr. Gail Bossenga

Wife of President Strikwerda

Inauguration Schedule

Friday, September 30, 2011

An Evening of Music 7:30 p.m. Leffler Chapel and Performance Center

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Faculty-led Panel Discussion: “Global Perspectives in Teaching and Scholarship” 9 a.m. High Library

Faculty-led Panel Discussion: “Peace, Justice and Conflict Transformation through Teaching and Scholarship” 10:30 a.m. High Library

Inauguration Ceremony 1:30 p.m. - Processional 2 p.m. - Inauguration Ceremony The Dell Reception 3:30 p.m. The Terrace, Baugher Student Center

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tree Planting 2:30 p.m.

3K Run/Walk 3 p.m. The Terrace, Baugher Student Center

bed-and-breakfast lodging for their friends and family members who will be coming into town for the inauguration of her husband on Oct. 1. Family members from the Washington, D.C., area, Michigan, Massachusetts, Virginia and Baltimore, Md., will be on hand for the celebra-tion. “I think we have booked just about all the bed-and-breakfast rooms in the area.”

Similar to her husband, Bossenga enjoys reading nov-els, hiking, cycling and walking. “We’ve already found the Cone-wago Recreation area and the rails to trails.” And a secret vice? The popular TV series “Mad Men,” confessing that she and Carl catch up on past seasons thanks to Netflix. “ ‘Mad Men’ is my connection to pop culture, I suppose.”

“As I meet with people, I will determine my focus.”

Gail Bossenga

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