Building Albright’s future as we wrap up the 2021-2022 academic year – Albright College

Building Albright’s future as we wrap up the 2021-2022 academic year

Dear Albrightians,

I am so grateful that this year, in addition to keeping our community healthy, we were able to return to the college experience and the vibrant, energetic campus that we love. Last week alone was filled with several academic and athletic celebrations — the annual Juried Student Art Exhibition, concerts, recitals, Honors presentations, and more. The energy and excitement felt all over campus was palpable.

This weekend we will continue our end-of-year celebrations as we honor our Jacob Albright Scholars and come together for Baccalaureate and Commencement. I look forward to seeing you at these important events, which celebrate the culmination of our students’ achievements and accomplishments.

Reflecting on the past year

The end of the academic year is a moment to take a look at all our community has accomplished over the past year. To name just a few of the many successes…

·       We started the academic year celebrating the accomplishments of our fashion students, faculty and alumni, and were the only undergraduate college with designs on the runway at New York Fashion Week.

·       Accomplished Albright faculty members published books and articles, some of those with Albright students as co-authors. Such work is an important example of the value of an Albright education, and what we offer to students that helps them to be successful in lives and careers.

·       From our amazing theatre program, two first-year students were recognized by BroadwayWorld for theatre performances at the nearby Ephrata Performing Arts Center, and two seniors were selected to participate in the prestigious Miranda Family Fellowship program in 2022.

·       Many students and faculty presented their scholarly and creative work at professional conferences across the United States. Locally, Albright students did an outstanding job at the Higher Education Council of Berks County (HECBC) Research Conference. With 52 presenters and 10 co-presenters, more Albright students were present than any other Berks County college!

·       Six Albright College alumni received awards during an on-campus Alumni Weekend ceremony. Their stories of how Albright nurtured and supported their successes were inspiring.

·       Now, at the end of the academic year, we celebrate the achievements of our student athletes, our student award winners, including the amazing Gold A winners and the Jacob Albright Scholars, as well as six amazing faculty members who received awards based on peer recommendations. Please join me in congratulating faculty members Lisa HainMike D’ErricoArcana AlbrightGwen SeidmanJeff Lentz and Ian Rhile.

Indeed, it has been a terrific year! Despite the challenges, we have continued to make progress and move our beloved Albright College forward.

Campus transformations continue

Albright College continues to move forward several key construction projects tied to our Strategic Vision. Together, we are working to build Albright’s future with a re-envisioned Student Success Commons and Library (SSC&L); a new, Mediplex-funded residence hall at 12th & Exeter Streets; and a cutting-edge esports facility in partnership with NerdStreet.

Progress on the SSC&L is moving steadily forward. Design development is in the final stage and preparations are being made to submit for zoning and land development approvals from the City of Reading. Interior finishes have been reviewed by the College Design Group (CDG), a Furniture, Fixture and Equipment (FF&E) team was created to assist in selecting furniture and to work with the Design Team and CDG on coordinating finishes, and interior demolition by Empire Services is slated to be complete by Memorial Day. This will allow our architect, Kimmel Bogrette, and the design team to further examine the building’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

Check out the SSC&L webpage for interior and exterior renderings, and a landscaping plan. To date, the Albright Advancement team has secured $10.4 million toward the $18.5 million fundraising goal! Our big hurdle now is completing the fundraisingPending supply chain and contractor issues, and assuming positive fundraising outcomes, Albright can look forward to a late 2023 opening! 

Work on the public esports gaming facility continues apace. Bids have been received and are being leveled. Several of those bids will be sent back to the construction manager with questions in an effort to more closely align the bids. With costs in hand, we will develop the financial model and pro forma, and take it to the full board for endorsement at the beginning of the 2022-2023 academic year.

In April, we broke ground on our new Mediplex-funded residence hall and construction is moving forward, with plans to open in fall 2023.

Stay healthy this summer!

The Pandemic Planning Task Force, led by Senior Vice President and Chief Health Officer Samantha Wesner, is to be commended for its work to keep our campus community healthy over the last two years of the pandemic. While we are grateful to have returned to a more normal campus environment, we must all continue to do our part to stay healthy over the summer months.

Increasing the vaccination rate is one of the most effective ways to ensure the continued health of those in our community. If you have not received the COVID-19 vaccine or you are due for your COVID-19 booster, I encourage you to get vaccinated. Please follow this link to obtain further information about the vaccine and booster, and to schedule an appointment.

Once vaccinated, you are encouraged to self-report that you have had your COVID-19 vaccine to the Gable Health Center. If you have received the booster, please upload this information as well. To do so, please login to https://albright.studenthealthportal.com/ with your Albright credentials, select upload documents, immunizations, and upload the picture of your vaccine card to the site. If you need help uploading your vaccine card, check out this video tutorial.

 

Take care of yourself and find time to enjoy what you love

This summer, whether you are on campus, at home, traveling or figuring out what your next step after college might be, please remember that YOU and your well-being are important. I hope that you will find time to enjoy all the things that make you happy. Be well, Lions, and keep roaring! 

Warm regards,

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry