Dear faculty and staff colleagues –
It’s hard to believe that we’re already in the last week of September and Homecoming festivities are upon us. Each year at Homecoming, when our alumni come back to campus, I’m reminded just how great it is to be a Lion! Whether you come for the Airbands competition, an athletic event, an exhibit or performance, or to mingle with alumni at lunch or during tailgating, I encourage you to be a part of this campus-wide celebration. You can register here: https://albright.360alumni.com/events/view/4493. And don’t forget to tag us when you share your photos on social media – #AlbrightHomecoming2018, #albrightcollege and @albrightcollege.
As I mentioned in my August email, work towards developing and supporting a thriving, equitable and empowered community continues, thanks to the leadership of CITE-C. I’m pleased to share that in support of this priority, the Albright faculty recently endorsed an inclusivity statement to be included on syllabi, and a series of CITE-C socials are being planned to provide opportunities for students, faculty and staff to engage in civil discourse on a number of topics. The first CITE-C social will be held this Thursday, Sept. 27. It will begin in the Freedman Gallery with a viewing and discussion of “Susan Crile: Incarceration in the Era of Impending Fascism” from 6:30-7:45 p.m. and then from 8-10 p.m., a preview of “Mosaic,” a collection of original short works of physical theatre that celebrate the resiliency of the human spirit. Keep your eyes out for an announcement about additional CITE-C socials coming soon. Work also continues with our partners at Collaborations Group, who continue to support our work in several areas, as well as helping us to align our policies and procedures across campus and to ensure that they mesh with our institutional core values.
Ensuring that the work we do and the decisions we make center around our institutional priorities is pivotal to the future success of Albright College. Recently, alumnus and board chair Jeffrey Joyce, class of 1983, made a commitment to Albright and to our priorities that I’d like to share with you.
In 2011, the Joyce Family Foundation designated $1M for renovations to the Gingrich Library, and part of that gift is what made upgrades to the first floor interior of the library possible. As communicated last April, the library project is being completed in phases, and while more than half of Chairman Joyce’s gift will be used for that phased project, he has chosen to reallocate a portion to fund important institutional priorities that will have an immediate impact on faculty, staff and students.
Focusing on the importance of supporting faculty work, the Joyce Family Foundation Faculty Innovation Fellowship will provide professional development funding to faculty members to reward excellence and encourage innovation. Additionally, it will provide an example of how faculty fellowships are created and used at Albright. Funds will also be used for Aviso academic planning and degree audit software, an important planning tool designed to save faculty and students time, and improve retention and graduation rates. A new student employment program, starting with a student-run coffee shop to be housed in Rockland Hall will be initiated, and technology upgrades for the South Lounge will present the best face to admissions groups, and will save significant time and cost in setting up South Lounge for events and meetings. And, the gift will provide startup operational and capital for eSports, a new varsity team that will provide opportunities for men and women to compete in this rapidly growing sport – keep your eyes out for an announcement about the launch of eSports soon!
I hope you will join me in thanking Chairman Joyce and the Joyce Family Foundation for their commitment to supporting important faculty work, student success and retention, and process and efficiency improvements that will help Albright toward its goal to implement a solid financial model built on sustainability and stewardship.
We do have much to celebrate at Albright College! Please join me and others for Homecoming festivities this weekend. And don’t forget! On Wed., Sept. 26, we’ll be celebrating alumnus Ted Abrams ’83, president and CEO of Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company. Bill Murray ’83, president and CEO of the National Coffee Association and a member of the board of trustees, will also be joining us to celebrate this new partnership. Come on out at noon for a ribbon cutting, raffles with great prizes and an engaging performance by our Albright Improv troupe as we celebrate the grand opening of Joffrey’s Coffee at Jake’s Java.