President's Newsletter March 2016

March 18, 2016

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

We may be just three months into the new calendar year, but 2016 has already been a year to remember, and not just for all the Taylor Swift sightings! Earlier this week, we honored 34 faculty and staff who have contributed 430 years of service!

I am pleased to announce that yesterday our Board of Trustees formally approved plans to build an innovative Recreation, Wellness and Health Sciences Complex (“The Plex”), the centerpiece of our new East Campus. This is the largest, most ambitious project in our history, adding more than 100,000 square feet of academic and recreation space. The innovative hybrid building will enhance the quality of our students’ learning and growth, in and beyond the classroom. Essential fundraising has begun, with groundbreaking depending on our progress. We will defer high-profile publicity of this project for now, but I wanted all of you to share in the excitement and anticipation.

And consider these other “points of pride” from the last few weeks:

• According to our most recent survey data, a stunning 97% of our alums are employed or in grad school within six months of graduation, while 93% of freshman and seniors reported they are very satisfied or satisfied with their experience.

• Speaking of impressive numbers, our OT graduates have achieved a three-year rate pass rate for the national qualifying exam of 98%!

• More numbers! This spring, the university retained nearly 93% of the 2015 entering class – the highest level achieved since we started tracking this data a decade ago.

• The success of this spring’s “Justice Everywhere” program was heartening. Included in the series were events developed to foster an atmosphere of ever-greater appreciation of diversity and its importance in our community. Hundreds of faculty and staff members participated in Justice Everywhere events. Read more here.

• The Holleran Center was selected by The Pennsylvania Campus Compact and Corporation for National and Community Service to host an astounding four PACC*VISTA members (Alvernia is the only PA school, pubic or private, awarded more than two VISTAs!) Related projects will substantially enhance our impact in the community and provide experiential learning opportunities for students. Read more here.

• Last month, we received an extraordinary $2.25 million gift from longtime Alvernia benefactors Carole and Ray Neag to establish the Neag Nursing Scholarship Program. It provides multiple awards each year to the “best and the brightest” undergraduate students seeking to enroll in our popular nursing program, including students from our Reading Collegiate Scholars Program. Read more here.

On a personal note, I have accepted new roles on two major higher education boards. I was elected vice chair of the Board of Directors for the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU). And as a member of the Executive Committee of the board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), I was asked to chair the organization’s Committee on Accountability. Both provide great visibility for Alvernia and elevate our voice on national issues.

Believe it or not, there is much other news to share. Please follow the links below for full updates on our many campus highlights. My heartfelt thanks to each of you for your efforts in advancing our institution and furthering our mission to be a distinctive Franciscan university. We are making great progress!


> Continue to the IMPORTANT UPDATES section




president's newsletter march 2016

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