While former Head of Branford College Elizabeth Bradley awaits her inauguration as president of Vassar College, her successor, Enrique De La Cruz, professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, is also settling into his new role.
As a gesture of appreciation to Bradley, the Branford College Council and the Branford Dean’s Office have chartered a bus to take 50 Branfordians to Poughkeepsie, New York, to witness her inauguration on Sept. 24.
“[Bradley] was deeply connected to our community, and so there are a lot of students who are excited to support and celebrate her on her big day,” Branford College Council President Shannon Flores ’18 said. Flores added that she was not surprised when both current students and alumni of Branford expressed an interest in making a trip northwest to Vassar for the occasion.
Although Bradley is excited to officially lead Vassar, she said that there are plenty of things she misses about her former home.
“I miss my friends and the students most,” Bradley said. “All the traditions of the first week of school and learning people’s names. Seeing the FroCos nurture the first years, and getting to work with the Branford aides – and just seeing you all around the courtyard.”
Bradley also thanked the Branford community for better preparing her for the demands of being president of Vassar. Her seven years at the helm of Branford gave her a deep understanding of residential life, helping to ease her transition, and encouraged her to emphasize the importance of creating a healthy campus climate at her new job, she said.
In Bradley’s absence, her successor has sought to familiarize himself with the Branford community. De La Cruz, who began his five-year term as Branford head of college on July 1, also described his transition as “seamless.”
“The Branford community has welcomed us with open arms,” De La Cruz said. “We’ve had tremendous help from the Branford staff and Dean, as well as Yale facilities, project planning and construction.”
In particular, De La Cruz also thanked his neighbors, Head of Saybrook College Thomas Near and his family, for being quick to befriend them.
He added that he is excited to get to know his fellow Branfordians and to work alongside his wife, Associate Head Leslie Carmin, to plan events for the Branford community.
“I was very encouraged by how passionately he spoke of his plans for his first year as Head,” Flores said. “He is extremely dedicated to facilitating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere within Branford and to creating a home for students here on campus.”
According to Flores, De La Cruz has expressed interest in meeting with the Branford College Council on a monthly basis in order to discuss plans for the year. The Branford College Council will also be “readily available” to help make De La Cruz’s transition as smooth as possible, she said.
De La Cruz and Carmin live in Branford with their two sons, Ezra Thomas and Lucien Amauri.
Daniel Dager | firstname.lastname@example.org .