Presidents Newsletter March 2012

March 2012


Dear Faculty and Staff, Student and Alumni Leaders,                     

With Spring Break behind us, Honors Convocation just ahead and May’s Commencement in our sights, it's time for the Spring Newsletter! As always, there is much news to report and good work to recognize. A few recent highlights include:

Dolores Bertoti has quite literally written the book when it comes to kinesiology. She co-wrote the latest edition of Clinical Kinesiology. The textbook is used at universities globally (including Alvernia!) and is considered the gold standard in this area of study.  

Alvernia has once again received Pennsylvania's President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Award, with Distinction. (Only 8 Pennsylvania schools are in this elite category!) Honorees are chosen based on criteria that include the scope and innovation of service projects and the extent of  student participation. Kudos to the Holleran Center staff and all those involved. 

Current Neag Professor Spence Stober recently returned from the International Conference on Sustainability in Vancouver where he and Dr. Alicia Sprow presented “Universities and Community Engagement for a Sustainable Community” highlighting the unique partnerships that are transforming Angelica Park. 

We recently joined the likes of Vassar, Johns Hopkins and Wesleyan when the Alvernia women’s field hockey team was recognized by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association as one of the top academic teams in Division III — for the eighth consecutive season. This year's top five teams and their GPAs were Vassar (3.52), Wesleyan (3.52), Clark (3.51), Alvernia (3.48) and Johns Hopkins (3.48.) Congratulations to the team and head coach Laura Gingrich!

Perhaps the most visible sign of progress can be seen as construction rapidly proceeds on our two new Founders Village units set to open in August, with one unit already completely framed out. Such improvements are timely because interest in attending Alvernia continues to climb to historic levels. In fact, our Admissions Office has once again set a record for freshman applications with several months still to go. And not long ago we welcomed the largest group of prospective students and their families to our annual Scholarship Luncheon, including candidates for the Shirley and Joseph Boscov Scholars awards. These are our most prestigious scholarships, made possible thanks to the generosity of Shirley, her son Jim and his wife Cindy. 

Arts events on campus continue to impress and offer a great variety of programming. The Miller Gallery is currently hosting an extraordinary exhibit from the Reading Museum’s collection called Masters of American Photography featuring iconic images from Ansel Adams, Walker Evans and several others. Meanwhile the student ensemble production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth is coming to the Francis Hall stage on March 22-25, with the spring dance and choral concerts coming on May 4-5.  

In addition, mark your calendar for the April 23 Hesburgh Lecture. The event features Notre Dame Political Science Professor Michael Zuckert who will speak on the landmark court decision Brown vs. the Board of Education, the Supreme Court case that declared legalized school segregation unconstitutional. 

As you will recall, recently we received final, formal approval of our University status from the state after successfully completing the initial five year period of tentative status. Last week, we also received word from Middle States that our assessment report has been accepted and that no follow-up visit will be needed. This is terrific news and a credit to the good work of many!

All this progress did not go unnoticed at the recent March Board of Trustees meeting during which several key decisions were made that merit attention here, including compensation for 2012-13. I also want to provide an update on the budget and highlight a few “points of pride” among other things. 

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