Welcome to spring semester – celebrations and updates
Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,
January has flown by and here we are at the beginning of a new spring semester, at the start of classes for our School of Professional Studies students, and we’re in a new decade!
Tonight in the dining hall, a Welcome Back dinner will be co-hosted by the Student Government Association and the President’s Student Advisory Council. All students are welcome regardless of whether or not they have a meal plan, so please encourage your students to attend. Faculty and staff, I encourage you to buy a meal and join students in the Caf to welcome them back. I hope to see you!
December and January have been busy here on campus and we have a lot to celebrate. I write today to share with you some of these celebrations and provide a few important updates.
First, the celebrations!
- Our own Domino Players earned an invitation to perform their fall production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” on the main stage of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Region II Festival this January. The production, directed by Jeff Lentz, senior artist in residence and chair of music, earned an enthusiastic standing ovation from the Kennedy Center audience, and Wayne Vettleson, associate professor of theatre and technical director, was awarded the prestigious Gold Medallion for his outstanding artistry and leadership in theatre education. This is the highest award offered by the Kennedy Center! I had the privilege of attending this amazing performance and could not have been prouder of our talented cast and crew. I have attended many college theatre productions over the years and I have always said that Albright’s theatre is the best I’ve seen. By the reaction of the Kennedy Center crowd, I am not alone in that viewpoint! Congratulations to Wayne, Jeff and to all of the Domino Players!
- I have also enjoyed cheering on the successful seasons of women’s and men’s basketball. Women’s basketball is nationally ranked at 13th currently in Division III and is tied for the lead in the MAC Commonwealth standings. Men’s basketball is currently tied for third in the conference, and Dejah Terrell ’22 is the first Albright College basketball player to be recognized as a National Player of the Week. Congratulations, Dejah! And, congratulations to the women’s and men’s swim teams who won against Elizabethtown at home this weekend. Go Lions!
- Last week, Albright was awarded a $30,000 state grant to continue building resources on campus that address sexual assault. The grant is part of the state’s “It’s On Us PA” campaign that invites everyone to play a role in ending sexual assault. Our own Sam Wesner, senior vice president for student & campus life and chief health officer, was interviewed on WFMZ and spoke about the programming and resources it will support. Watch on WFMZ
- And the December 2019 issue of Berks County Living magazine featured 35 winning Best of Berks business profiles penned by Albright adult and undergraduate students, alongside alumni and staff members.
And a few important updates!
- In preparing for the arrival of Wendy Parsons, our new vice president for Advancement, the president’s office is being relocated to the ground floor of Teel Hall. Since October, we have been working from the Advancement office in the Camp Building and have greatly appreciated the Advancement team’s warm welcome. We are excited to be moving to Teel – one of the oldest buildings on campus – and engaging with colleagues there. Please be sure to visit us!
- Though we were hoping to have the Rockland Coffee Shop open by the spring 2020 semester, we are waiting on the building owner, who would prefer to build out the coffee shop and the rest of the first floor at the same time. Albright’s part of the planning work is done for the moment. We have the construction plans completed, and those are ready for city-permitting. We have the plans for the interior design and a commitment of someone to gift us the equipment. The owner is currently exploring options for the remaining first floor space. We will communicate plans moving forward as soon as we are able.
- Over the past several months, many of you have participated in feedback sessions regarding our strategic vision white paper. This white paper provides a framework for the work we must do going forward, and it is moving into the final stages. I will be sharing it with the faculty and with the board of trustees for their endorsement. And once it is finalized, I will be sharing a summary of the plan with all of you. Please stay tuned for more!
- And lastly, we are making significant progress with plans for the library. A micro-library with approximately 6,000 books and materials – based on usage over the last three to five years – is coming soon to the CCM, the current location for all library services and operations. This move, which is tentatively scheduled to open in late February, will make materials accessible to all during all regular library hours. Keep an eye out for more information coming soon!
A big and deeply heartfelt thanks to every one of you for all you do for Albright College and our students each and every day. We are all moving quickly and working very hard to prepare our students for success and to ensure a bright future for Albright College. I hope, like me, you are looking forward to new adventures this spring!
I wish you the very best in your work and in your lives as we move into the renewal of springtime.
With best wishes,
Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82
President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry