Welcome to 2021
Dear Fellow Albrightians,
As we have moved through the first month of this new year, 2021, I’ve been reflecting on the past year, and looking forward to what the new year might bring. At this time last year, who would have imagined that one year later we would be 10 months into a global pandemic that has changed the way we teach, learn and work?
And, yet, we tackled the year like Albrightians. Although it has often been difficult and stressful, the resilience of our Albright community is amazing. Led by the staff, faculty, and students on the Pandemic Task Force, we have succeeded in optimizing our campus for health and safety, and in maintaining full employment and benefits for all faculty and staff. During this pandemic, many colleges have not been as successful. I appreciate the hard work, commitment, resilience, and especially care of self and others that I’ve seen exhibited by so many members of our Albright community.
As we look forward to the year of 2021, I am excited by the work we have done, and will do, in support of the Strategic Vision for Albright College. Since the Board of Trustees and the faculty endorsed the vision in February 2020 and in spite of the day to day challenges that the pandemic has presented, we have taken steps to achieving this 2030 goal:
In 2030, we envision that Albright will have a national reputation for closing the gap on education for all students of academic promise — for students who earn an affordable and high quality degree with a strong liberal arts foundation, who are prepared to enter the workforce, who experience significant socioeconomic mobility, and who are prepared to hold fulfilling jobs, across all student demographics.
To achieve this ambitious goal, we set annual goals for the college. Last June, our trustees endorsed the college’s 2020-2021 annual goals, with measurable metrics:
- An active commitment to Albright’s Inclusivity and Equity Statement
- Retention and student success
- Care of our employees
- Expansion of alternative revenue streams
- The continuation of the library plan
Today, as we look forward to a new year filled with hope and promise, I want to celebrate the significant progress that has been made in our work towards achieving these goals! Some of the highlights include:
- During the holiday break we were thrilled to receive the wonderful news that Albright College was awarded a $1 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant, for our new Student Success Commons and Library! RACP is a state grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. Kimmel Bogrette, the architectural firm selected to spearhead the project, is working to integrate Albright’s space planning, developed by the Library Vision Team over the past year, with preliminary design plans so that renderings may be developed.
- Thanks to the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation, $200,000 has been added to existing endowed scholarship funds in support of sophomore, junior and senior students with financial need, who have demonstrated a commitment to leadership and service. Albright College remains committed to investing in a continuum of supports that address potential obstacles to degree-completion success across all student demographics.
- Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our Advancement team and the generosity of our donors and friends, $5,227,222 has been raised towards our Advancing Lives Scholarship Initiative since its launch in October 2019!
- Our work to instill an active commitment to Albright’s Inclusivity and Equity Statement continues through our ongoing work to engage with and listen to each other, and to evolve towards the ideal of an equitable and fully participating community. In support of this goal, every Caucasian member of the Cabinet has now completed the Whites Confronting Racism workshop,and are holding each other accountable to our action plans. Approximately 40 additional Albrightians have completed this workshop as well. Another opportunity to attend this workshop is being planned for June. If you are interested, please email Beth Kiester at email@example.com.
- Additionally, Albright-specific training, offered through Albright Excellence, Human Resource’s (HR’s) new training program, has been developed and is currently being tested. The programs, which will begin running soon, will include, but are not limited to, bias/unconscious bias/implicit bias/micro-aggression training; how hiring, evaluations and promotions are impacted by biases and biased practices; and more. Keep an eye out for an announcement from HR about these programs that will be coming soon!
Each member of our pride of Lions — faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni, donors and friends — plays a critical role in helping us to achieve our ambitious goal. Each time you talk with your families and friends about Albright College, our successes and our shared vision, you are leading a “ripples in the pond” impact. Together, those ripples will become waves, and those waves will bring us closer to achieving our goal.
While we can’t predict the exact outcome of the coronavirus pandemic, we know that we’ve already begun to make measurable progress toward our shared vision for Albright’s future. As I’ve reflected on this past year, I’m filled with hope and enthusiasm for our future.
Best wishes to each of you for a 2021 filled with much hope, promise, laughter, joy, and success in all you do! It’s a great day to be an Albright Lion!
Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82
President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry