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People know John Faraci is a great leader. He served as the CEO of International Paper Company, and is now the chairman of Denison’s board of trustees. What a lot of people do not know is he played tennis at Denison, was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, and majored in Economics and History before graduating in 1972. Now as the chairman of the Denison Board of Trustees, Faraci believes Denison will continue to improve, especially with the new majors entering the curriculum.

“I’m really excited about the global commerce and financial economics majors because of my experience in the business world,” Faraci said. “It will give Denison students a little more insight what they’re going to see in their first job if they want to go into commerce.” The ultimate goal is to move Denison into the top 30 liberal arts schools in the nation.

“What’s important right now is implementing a strategic plan. Whether it’s new majors or the arts investment, it’s a shared vision of the board,” Faraci said. The Board of Trustees is a group of individuals who offer oversight to the campus. Their primary job is to appoint the president, but aside from that responsibility, they meet three times a year to suggest the priorities of the campus. Most of the work is done through committees such as the finance committee, enrollment, student affairs, and campus and grounds. Each committee has a chair, and the board meetings serve to report what they have discussed since the last meeting. Faraci is on the enrollment, finance, and trustee affairs committees.

According to student trustee Cece McGee ‘16, this past trustee meeting was focused on continuing with institutional advancement as well as how the board can continue to promote student well-being and positive social inclusion.

“Our job as trustees is to help the university be successful,” Faraci said. “It’s all volunteer, but we’re all 100% interested in what we do. I love doing it.” Faraci believes immersing himself in the culture of Denison is the only way to truly understand it.

“It’s important for Trustees to be relevant and effective, so they need to understand Denison today, not Denison when they went here,” Faraci said. “I want to see what’s going on. When I come here I try to spend time doing things like going to volleyball games, sitting in on classes and talking with faculty members about the new majors.”

Another way for the Trustees to be relevant and effective is by appointing student trustees every other year. Calandra McGee ‘16 and Conrad Wourinen currently serve as the two student trustees. After finishing up her first year, McGee commented on her experience. “As one of the recent student trustees, my first year on the board was attempting to learn and observe a part of Denison that isn’t always visible to the Denison student body. It was amazing watching this group of Denison alumni work together to give back to an institution that has been fundamental in shaping the success that they have cultivated since graduating.”

As far as the benefits of a Denison education, Faraci acknowledges it may not be a technical, isolated skill.

“I don’t think education at Denison doesn’t prepare you for your first job,” Faraci said. “It prepares you for the job after your first job. A liberal arts education prepares you to do not something, but anything.”

Photo Courtesy of Owen Smith/The Denisonian