President’s Column – Albright College

President’s Column

Making an (Economic) Impact

As an Albright alum, you probably know that Reading, Pa., is noted in Ripley’s Believe it or Not as the only place in the United States where a student can go from Kindergarten through college all on the same street. As the capstone institution for the city of Reading’s 13th Street Educational Partnership, we at Albright College are incredibly proud of the many alumni who have graced our halls to earn an education, and are gratified by the generations of faculty and staff who have made that education possible.

Since 1856, Albright has been helping graduates prepare for successful lives and careers by developing in students the ability to learn how to learn, to approach challenges from multiple perspectives, to cross boundaries both in and outside of the classroom, and to make connections with intellectual confidence. This approach is how Albright implements its liberal arts educational program.

While many begin on 13th Street and move on to see the world after graduation, others come to Albright from across the country and around the globe — and find their permanent home — living, learning, working and playing in the Greater Reading area.

We celebrate the impact of an Albright education and our 163-year connection to our community by telling your stories — the stories of our remarkable graduates. But there are other ways to measure our value.

A new study conducted on behalf of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) estimates that Albright annually impacts Pennsylvania’s economy to the tune of $102.4 million. According to the study, Albright supports and sustains 1,094 jobs across the state through direct employment as well as indirect jobs that support the institution’s faculty, staff, students and visitors. In addition, Albright generates more than $4.8 million in tax revenues for state and local government each year.

Some of this revenue comes from the 1,500 high school students and parents touring Albright each year, nearly half of whom come from outside of the state. Droves more come to Albright’s campus to take part in our many athletic and academic camps or arts events. During just one event this spring, 50 of the country’s top students — all accepted to Albright — celebrated their high school accomplishments on campus. Seventeen of these students visited our Reading campus from states such as Georgia, Tennessee, New York, Ohio, New Jersey, Maryland and South Carolina.

Combined with student and visitor spending, the day-to-day expenditures of colleges like Albright have a ripple effect throughout the Greater Reading and state economies. All told, while educating 43 percent of all low income, Pell-eligible degree-seeking students, Pennsylvania’s independent, nonprofit colleges and universities (AICUP schools) generated a whopping $24 billion for the commonwealth last year and supported the employment of more than 195,000 people.

Though run self-sufficiently, Pennsylvania’s “independent” colleges are not passive entities, separated from our communities. We are in fact, proud to be deeply connected, engaged partners, as Albright is working to be a strong anchor institution in northeast Reading. Our students mentor children in many different communities, our faculty conduct research benefiting the public good and — to put an additional number on impact — the faculty, staff and students of AICUP schools contribute nearly $59 million in charitable giving and provide 5.3 million hours of volunteer service (valued at $68.4 million) on thousands of local projects.

Albright College is proud to be an anchor institution in northeast Reading and to work side-by-side with our neighbors as a collaborator for growth and a resource for a bright and sustainable future.

Best regards,

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