Dear faculty and staff colleagues –
We are in the final stretch of the 2018-2019 academic year and just nine days away from commencement! It has been a busy and productive year for all of us and I thank you for the important roles you have played in Albright’s many successes. In fact, last Friday and Saturday Albright board of trustees members were on campus for their annual May board meeting. During the meeting, I shared with them some of our many accomplishments and achievements, which I am delighted to share here with you.
- Seven faculty members have received tenure and/or have been promoted and were celebrated at the board dinner: Victor Forte, religious studies; Dr. Teresa Gilliams, English; Dr. Irene Langran, political science; Dr. Robert Seesengood, religious studies; Dr. Lesley Goodman, English; Dr. Adam Hersperger, biology; and Dr. Brittany Shelton, mathematics.
- The Domino Players theatre troupe won nine national Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival awards for “Raisin in the Sun” and presented a year of outstanding productions centered on the theme of social justice.
- Albright junior Autumn Blalock was named a 2019 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact.
- Men’s swimming won another MAC title and head coach Michael Hay was named coach of the year for the second time.
- The softball team made it to the MAC tournament for the first time since 2007 and head coach Marguerite DeLucas ’14 was named coach of the year. As of yesterday, the team was invited to, and won, the first round of the ECAC tournament. They play in the semi-finals this weekend at Penn State Behrend.
- Thanks to the good work of Dr. Rod Warfield and Dr. Susan Seidenstricker, Albright’s elementary (pre-k to 4) and special education programs will begin running again this fall.
- Alden Trust awarded Albright $100k to upgrade psychology classrooms with the latest research and teaching equipment.
- Albright and Drexel are now offering a direct path to both a BS from Albright and a BSN in nursing from Drexel, which can be completed in either four or five years.
- Alumni Weekend brought close to 400 alumni to campus!
- Forty-three Albright students presented their original and creative work at the HECBC Undergraduate Research Conference held at Reading Area Community College.
- Long-serving registrar, Dave Ballaban, who will retire at the end of this semester after 30 years of dedicated service to Albright College, was named registrar emeritus.
- Last evening, Albright’s core values, mission and vision statements were endorsed by the faculty and will shortly go to the Board for endorsement.
And these are just some of the many accomplishments and achievements our community members have made this year. My thanks and congratulations to each of you for the many and varied ways you contribute to Albright’s success.
During the trustee meeting, we also had the opportunity to hear a presentation on “Significant Trends in Higher Education” given by consultants Nanci Tessier and Richard Hesel of the Art & Science Group. In their presentations to the board of trustees and to faculty and staff, Nanci and Rick talked about major challenges impacting private colleges and universities, how students choose a school, and how the liberal arts affect decisions regarding college choice. As an institution with a commitment to a liberal arts education, an approach that is an integral part of our long history and foundational to our academic program, the message they shared is a critical one. If you missed it, I encourage you to check it out: https://albrightcollege.wistia.com/medias/4g7s8k0qeo
Please join me this afternoon, May 9, to celebrate another successful academic year, and to say farewell and best wishes to our graduating seniors at our annual year-end celebration. “Aloha Albright,” which is being presented by the Student Government Association, Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, and Alumni and Donor Engagement, will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. in the McMillan Student Center. Every member of our Albright community is welcome to celebrate and enjoy food, fun, contests, prizes and a lot of Albright spirit!
During this past board meeting, I also reminded our trustees about the investments we have made as an institution over the last year to move Albright College forward, which include:
- The Title III grant and Aviso academic transcript and program planning software
- The addition of eSports as a co-ed varsity sport
- Our partnership with Drexel University
- The hiring of eight new faculty members
- And improvements to campus facilities including the Student Center Main and South Lounges, Albright Woods (lighting), and Schumo Center (locker rooms)
And I asked for the board’s continued support in investments that are aimed at revenue enhancement, sustainability of the expense structure, and improvement of campus efficiencies.
The investment that you make in Albright College every day is equally important and I thank you for that. Your commitment to our students, dedication to our liberal arts heritage, and engagement in the difficult work of moving Albright forward is what will lead us into the future.
I look forward to seeing many of you at our Aloha Albright celebration today!