Lion Pride: On and Off Campus – Albright College

Lion Pride: On and Off Campus

Dear Albright faculty and staff,

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a full two years since the pandemic began. As I reflect on these years, especially after just lifting the mask mandate for our campus community, and I think about the many successes we have had despite the challenges we have all faced, I am tremendously grateful for, and proud of, our Albright community. There is Lion pride on every corner of our campus – and well beyond our campus, too!

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the story in this issue of Science magazine, a top academic journal, on our Science Research Institute (SRI). Additionally, this week, SRI’s Adelle Schade and I are attending the National Day of Glass event in Washington, D.C., where we are presenting on our approach to education. Follow me and SRI on Instagram to see some of the highlights: albrightprezfetrow and albrightsri.

Today, I write to share some updates with you on progress towards our 2030 Strategic Vision. 

Our work with Art & Science Group

As we have shared several times over the past two years, we have been working with Art & Science Group to define how we will evolve our college in a way that both builds to our strengths and resonates with today’s prospective students. Done well, this work will enable Albright to move forward in ways that are authentic, while also generating the market demand our college needs to sustainably thrive. Through the research process, several themes were identified that would be compelling and distinctive. Creativity and Innovation top our list, especially when paired with experiences that have an impact on society.

In February, an Implementation Team and a series of working groups of faculty and staff from every corner of the college began working together to fully identify and implement the next steps in this work. Groups members are working to determine the next steps in the evolution of our college, and to create a compelling articulation of the college’s identity, one that clearly defines the experience in creativity and innovation that we guarantee to every Albright student.

The working groups identified in this first phase of the implementation plan are:

·         Each academic department

·         First-Year Seminar

·         Synthesis Courses

·         New Student Onboarding and Orientation

·         Admissions and Communications

To learn more about the implementation plan, the working groups, or to get involved, visit the Creativity & Innovation page on the Albright website.

Campus transformations

You’ve probably noticed that work is underway on the transformation of the library and administration building into a Student Success Commons and Library, a remodel designed to immerse Albrightians in 21st century collaborative learning, while mixing traditional media with emergent media.

Though there’s not a lot to see from the outside just yet, the inside is alive with activity. Interior abatement has been completed and interior demolition by Empire Services is scheduled to be completed by late May. 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 $16.5 million fundraising goal!

In other campus renovations, I invite you to join us on Thursday, April 21 at 1:30 p.m. as we break ground on our new Mediplex-funded residence hall on N. 12th Street, adjacent to Shirk Stadium. First announced in October, our Board of Trustees approved the expansion of our development partnership with Mediplex Impact Development – from whom we lease Rockland Hall. Look for an email invitation in your inbox soon and come on out and celebrate this exciting future home to our Albright Lions!

We are all Albright Ambassadors

You’ve probably noticed that there have been a lot of visitors on our campus lately. Our Admissions team hosted a very successful Accepted Student Open House (ASOH) on March 26th – the first in-person ASOH since before COVID – and we welcomed ten candidates to interview for the prestigious Davis Scholarship to campus a couple of weeks ago. We have another ASOH coming up on April 9th and a mixed class open house on April 30th.

While certain areas are responsible for coordinating and executing these important events, each of us has a role in welcoming new students and families to campus and sharing the Albright experience with them. We are all ambassadors of Albright. The Albright brand is formed by every interaction that a prospective student has with a faculty member, a staff member, or an Albright student. Each of these interactions matter.

Just as each of us plays a role in attracting prospective students to our campus community, each of us also plays an important role in retaining our current student population. In fact, did you know that every four students we retain is an additional 1% increase in our retention rate? If we are successful in supporting 20 students, that’s a 5% increase in retention, which furthers our longstanding mission of educating students of academic promise for success in life and career.

I encourage you and your teams to think intentionally about your role as an Albright Ambassador as we work to attract and retain our students. Working together, we will all be more successful in moving Albright forward.

Thank you for all you do for our students and for the Albright community!

Best,

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