Bettison-Varga Family Descends on Campus

This summer, while most students are far from Scripps College, President-elect Lori Bettison-Varga and her family will move into the Revelle House. The house was known as the President's House until 2000, when the College purchased a house on College Avenue for the president's residence. The Office of Alumnae Relations, which currently operates out of half of the house, will move into Balch Hall.

The President-elect was formerly a professor of geology at Pomona College, and she holds a Ph.D and Master's Degree from the University of California at Davis. She has held a variety of high-level positions at other colleges, including the College of Wooster in Ohio and Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. The Scripps College Board of Trustees unanimously elected her as president this March, and she will officially become president on July 1, 2009.

Bettison-Varga decided to move into the Revelle House in part because she thinks "it will be easier to get to know the campus, the students and the faculty." She plans to start moving in sometime in late June with her husband, Robert, and her three children, Matt, Will and Lexie. Their yellow lab Keo—named for a bottling company in Cyprus—will also be joining them.

The family is not planning for large-scale renovations on the Revelle House. The facilities, like the bathroom used by the Office of Alumnae Relations, are in desperate need of an update. However, the rest of the house is in good condition and ready for the new residents. Bettison-Varga plans to turn the conference room in the back of the house into a TV room so that the kids have a place to go when she is holding meetings or entertaining. Additionally, one room may be turned into a music room, since members of the Bettison-Varga family play everything from the saxophone to the mandolin. Overall, Bettison-Varga wants the house to be comfortable and welcoming for her family, students and faculty.

Bettison-Varga and her family plan to have dinner at Malott Commons at least once a week, and students will be welcome to come and chat. She also plans to take advantage of the Sallie Tiernan Field House, though students shouldn't expect to see her in the kickboxing or boot camp classes any time soon.

The college holds special meaning for President-elect Bettison-Varga, since her mother graduated from Scripps, and several other family members attended the Claremont Colleges. Despite the fact that she did not attend Scripps herself, Bettison-Varga is very-well informed about life at Scripps, and noted that her being situated near Claremont McKenna may require her to purchase earplugs.

It should be relatively easy for Bettison-Varga to integrate into the Scripps community, because she is incredibly accessible, easy to talk to and clearly interested in what students think about Scripps. Once she and her family have moved in, a meeting a or quick conversation with Bettison-Varga should be on every Scripps student's agenda.