A Compendium of Recent News from CIC Member Institutions

Photos of three people standing in front of a sign for the opening of the Center for American Culture ad Race at Guangdong Baiyun University and a group of students standing in front of a statue.
Several CIC member institutions held solar eclipse viewing events during the August 21 astronomical spectacle. Southern Wesleyan University (SC), for example, welcomed thousands of visitors from several states and some foreign countries for a viewing at the Joe R. Gilbert Track and Field on Central Campus. (Photos courtesy of Southern Wesleyan University)



CIC member institutions were well represented again in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Colleges to Work For” survey Honor Roll. More than 45,000 employees of 232 colleges and universities across the United States participated in the tenth annual survey, which explored how academics are breaking down barriers that prevent them from building stronger ties with one another and with their local communities. Only 30 four-year institutions achieved Honor Roll status by being recognized in multiple categories. CIC members include Endicott College (MA), Gettysburg College (PA), Hofstra University (NY), John Brown University (AR), McPherson College (KS), Oklahoma City University, Roberts Wesleyan College (NY); Rollins College (FL), Southern New Hampshire University, Texas Christian University, Texas Lutheran University, and University of the Incarnate Word (TX).

University Business magazine announced the winners of its final Models of Excellence program this summer. The national recognition program has honored colleges and universities that have implemented innovative, effective, and interdepartmental initiatives to bolster student success. Two of the six 2017 honorees are CIC member institutions. McDaniel College (MD) was recognized for its Teachers for Tomorrow program, which seeks to boost teacher diversity and encourage greater college attendance among low-income students through a partnership with the Howard County Public School System. Endicott College (MA) won for its Keys to Degrees program that helps young single parents complete their bachelor’s degrees.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in August selected ten institutions as sites for the initial Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Campus Centers. With support from Newman’s Own Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, development of the Campus Centers is part of AAC&U’s multi-year initiative to educate, prepare, and inspire the next generation of leaders to advance justice and build equitable communities. Three of the ten institutions are CIC member institutions: Hamline University (MN), Millsaps College (MS), and Spelman College (GA).

Four CIC member institutions won Interfaith Youth Core’s 2017 Better Together Awards in June. Better Together is a national network for student interfaith groups, councils, and committees that work to increase interfaith cooperation on campus. Among the awards for student groups, Mount Holyoke College (MA) was declared the Best Better Together Day winner for use of the theme and spirit of the initiative. Wittenberg University (OH) won the Rookie of the Year award, given to a new initiative that demonstrates promising impact on campus. Among the individual winners, the Mike Hammer Interfaith Leadership Award went to Meredith College (NC) student Eiman Ali for conducting interfaith leadership in a way that motivates, mobilizes, and influences the campus community. The winner of the Outstanding Educator Award that recognizes exceptional support and development of young leaders on campus was Brian Ammons, chaplain and director of the Office of Spiritual Life at Warren Wilson College (NC).

A Gannon University (PA) chemistry professor was one of three mentors to the United States team that turned in a record-setting performance at the 49th International Chemistry Olympiad in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, in July. Christine A. Saber, assistant professor of chemistry, was selected from a pool of national applicants to serve a three-year term as a mentor for the American Chemical Society’s United States National Chemistry Olympiad. Winning four gold medals, the students turned out the best performance since a U.S. team began participating in the high school chemistry competition in 1984.


Lakeland University’s (WI) School of Business and Entrepreneurship and Ireland’s Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) have partnered to create a new study abroad experience for students considering working in the hospitality industry. Beginning in the 2017–2018 year, Lakeland students can study at Ireland’s leading university-level provider of hospitality, tourism, leisure, and event programs. DIT students in turn can learn as part of Lakeland’s program, which has partnerships with Destination Kohler, Blue Harbor Resort, and the Osthoff.

Eastern Mennonite University (VA) and Goshen College (IN) have partnered to offer the first doctoral degree program among the five Mennonite Church USA colleges and universities. With classes beginning in January 2018, the online doctor of nursing practice program will educate nurse leaders in both clinical and administrative roles.

This fall, the Westminster College (PA) School of Nursing and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Jameson’s School of Nursing began an inaugural program that will lead to both a nursing diploma and a bachelor of science degree in nursing in four years. First-year students will take pre-nursing and liberal arts courses at Westminster before matriculating at UPMC Jameson’s School of Nursing. In years two and three, students will follow the UPMC Jameson program while earning credits at Westminster toward the BSN degree. Students will then test for registered nurse licensure. In the fourth year, students will complete higher level nursing courses at Westminster to earn the BSN.

Indiana Wesleyan University and Wheaton College (IL) announced a partnership in July that creates a distinctive nursing track in which students complete a three-year liberal arts nursing program at Wheaton, followed by a 14-month concentrated nursing training program in Indiana Wesleyan’s School of Nursing. The 3+1 Program enables students to earn two bachelor’s degrees in four years.

Daemen College (NY) and D’Youville College (NY) established two educational partnerships in July. Under the new 4+1 agreement, students can earn a doctor of pharmacy degree from D’Youville and a master’s degree in public health from Daemen, allowing students to complete two advanced degrees in only five years rather than the traditional six. Under the 3+4 agreement, students will complete three years of undergraduate study in natural science at Daemen and then apply for admission to D’Youville’s pharmacy program. Accepted students will have their fourth year of pharmacy courses recognized toward completion of a master’s degree at Daemen. Students will then finish their pharmacy degree at D’Youville, completing both programs in seven years.

Culver-Stockton College (MO) and the University of Missouri entered into a nonexclusive partnership in June for a 3+3 juris doctor program. The program allows high-caliber, exceptionally motivated students to complete their undergraduate degree while finishing their first year of law school at University of Missouri, which allows students to complete both their undergraduate and law degrees in six years.

Coker College (SC) is partnering with Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) in Florence, South Carolina, to offer two bachelor’s degrees for FDTC graduates: a BS in business management and a BS in applied criminology. Once FDTC students earn their associate degree in business management, business marketing, or criminal justice technology, they can transfer those credits directly into Coker College’s business management or criminology program, giving them two years of completed course requirements toward their bachelor’s degree.

Dakota Wesleyan University (SD) and Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) have expanded their partnership to offer a new four-year program that pairs entrepreneurial leadership education with hands-on construction training. Building on an earlier agreement that allowed students to earn a BS in business administration from Dakota Wesleyan with an emphasis in agriculture from MTI, students can now earn a BS in entrepreneurial leadership from Dakota Wesleyan with an emphasis in residential construction or drafting/commercial construction from MTI.

The University of Dallas (TX) Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business announced a partnership with Prospanica–The Association of Hispanic Professionals in July. Together, the two institutions aim to better prepare all students at the university to enter a diverse workforce and serve in a range of specialties and fields. Through the partnership, all Prospanica members will be eligible for special tuition benefits when they enroll at the University of Dallas.

Bennett College (NC) in August joined the Pfeiffer University (NC) Partnership Program, which provides a 20 percent tuition discount on undergraduate degree completion and graduate programs for alumnae, faculty, and staff members of partnership institutions that attend Pfeiffer.

To help more working adults complete their college degrees, Westminster College (MO) this fall began offering courses toward a bachelor of arts degree in leadership in Jefferson City, Missouri. Through a unique partnership focused on developing community leaders, Westminster will offer classes for the “finishUP” program at the First Presbyterian Church of Jefferson City. Adults who have already completed 90 hours of undergraduate work will complete five courses a year for two years, with many of the classes combining classroom and online work.

In July, Robert Morris University (PA) became the first member of Amazon Web Services’ AWS Academy program in the state of Pennsylvania, allowing Robert Morris University to teach its students AWS Academy cloud computing architecture and prepare students for certification in AWS technology. The AWS Academy will be open to RMU students as well as IT professionals who wish to earn AWS certified solutions architect-associate certification. Amazon Web Services is a business unit within Amazon.com, Inc.

Hood College’s (MD) Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies (CCWS) announced a community gardening effort in August that aims to mitigate excess storm water runoff and improve access to healthy produce for low-income families in Frederick City, Maryland. The new program, Growing for a Healthy Future, plans to enlist the local interfaith community to establish and oversee community gardens in target areas to supply fresh, healthy foods to low-income residents of Frederick’s food deserts. CCWS, in partnership with the Center for Watershed Protection—a nonprofit based in Ellicott City, Maryland—will design environmentally sustainable gardens that use excess storm water runoff for irrigation.

Photos of college athletes interacting with young fans and speaking with alumni at a fundraising event
Dominican University (IL) hosted the 2017 Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) education conference July 27–30. More than 125 neuroscience faculty members from across the country, including Harvard, Cornell, and UC Berkeley and several CIC institutions, participated in interactive demonstrations. Above, Robert Calin-Jageman, Dominican University professor of biology and neuroscience, demonstrates a software program that he developed to help users manipulate animated neurons on screen in a mockup of a central nervous system and, ultimately, to make robots perform activities the same way that the brain “tells” humans to act. (Photo courtesy of Dominican University)


Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in July announced a $10 million gift from a group of anonymous donors to make its online competency-based degree programs available to refugees in the United States and around the world. The gift will support the first large-scale initiative to provide refugees with access to degrees from an accredited American university, with a goal of educating 50,000 people in 20 locations by 2022. In partnership with the Rwandan nonprofit organization Kepler, SNHU piloted the project in the Kiziba refugee camp and graduated an initial cohort of 16 students with associate degrees, all of whom are engaged in internships outside the camp and are working on their bachelor’s degrees.

Loras College (IA) announced in August that it has surpassed the $100 million goal in its Inspiring Lives and Leadership campaign, making it the largest and most successful fundraising effort in the college’s 178-year history. Launched in 2013 as a catalyst for engaging alumni and friends of the college, the campaign’s original goal was $75 million within four years. That goal was increased to $100 million in 2015 when it took just two years to reach that initial number. Nearly half of the college’s alumni base—in total nearly 22,500 individuals—donated to the campaign, including 20 who have each given or pledged $1 million or more.

Gustavus Adolphus College (MN) in July received its largest donation ever—a $40 million gift by an alumni couple who wishes to remain anonymous and hopes that Gustavus will be among the elite liberal arts colleges in the nation for years to come. The commitment will raise the profile of the institution by providing scholarship funding to high-achieving incoming students and supporting the renovation and expansion of the Nobel Hall of Science, a $70 million project that will double the size of the college’s laboratory science space.

Wabash College (IN) received an $8.1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support programming for the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion through 2021. Begun in 1996, the Wabash Center is committed to enhancing education in theology and religion in North American theological schools, colleges, and universities. Since its founding, the Wabash Center’s operations have been fully funded by Lilly Endowment with total support of more than $58 million.

Berry College (GA) received a $2 million gift in August to fund the directorship of the expanding Berry Center for Integrity in Leadership. The gift was made by John Edward Sims, a retired Union Pacific executive, in memory of his late parents, Berry alumni Elvin and Fleta Patterson Sims. The new director will work with faculty to infuse coursework related to personal integrity and leadership into every major and develop tools and training for students to practice ethical problem solving.

Southern Vermont College announced in July that it received a $1.35 million pledge from the James H. and Irene M. Hunter Charitable Trust as the lead gift to support the construction of a new Center for Student Success and Wellness. The pledge includes a gift of $1 million and a $350,000 challenge grant to match additional gifts of 50 cents on the dollar up to $700,000.

Citing deep, life-changing experiences at Bridgewater College (VA) and a long-standing commitment to give back to the community, Rodney Smith, his four sons, and the Smith-Midland Corporation recently donated $1 million toward the expansion and renovation of the college’s library, the John Kenny Forrer Learning Commons. In recognition of the gift, the college will rename the first-floor café in the building the Smith Family Learning Commons Café. Rodney Smith is chair of the board and co-founder of the Smith-Midland Corporation; he has served on the college’s board of trustees since 1980 and was named a life trustee in 2011.

The Saint John’s Pottery at Saint John’s University (MN) has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation to establish the Mary Griggs Burke Fellowship for Japanese Artists and Apprentices. The gift is the single-largest grant to the Saint John’s Pottery in its nearly 40-year history, and is one of the largest ones for visual arts programming in the university’s history. The fellowship creates a new research and study endowment to provide opportunities for artists interested in furthering Japanese visual culture.

This summer, Elizabethtown College (PA) received a $300,000 humanities grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its program, Confronting Challenges with Confidence: Humanities for Our World Today. Over the next three years, the grant will support students as they conduct research in global studies and regional history and integrate technology into their humanities courses.

Three students in lab coats and safety goggles measure and record an experiment
Trine University (IN) opened its new Thunder Ice Arena to the public in September. The 46,200-square-foot complex includes 700 seats around the ice rink, standing room for another 500 fans—and a total capacity of 1,500, including the lobby area. The arena was built at a cost of $8.5 million. (Photo courtesy of Trine University)


This fall, St. Bonaventure University (NY) opened a new research center that will study the cognitive impact of students bringing cell phones into the classroom, among other research. A joint effort between the School of Education and the School of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Attention, Learning, and Memory will support faculty development for professors as well as promote research in the areas of attention and learning across departments and schools.

Azusa Pacific University (CA) launched a master of arts in music entrepreneurial studies this fall. The low-residency program is designed for music, communication, business, or marketing graduates and entertainment professionals who wish to succeed in the music industry as independent entrepreneurs.

Randolph College (VA) announced a new master of fine arts program in creative writing that will begin in July 2018. The two-year, low-residency program will include an intensive ten-day residency on the Randolph College campus and a 20-week session to complete original new writing and revise works in progress. Throughout the process, students will work closely with the program’s diverse, award-winning faculty.

Culver-Stockton College (MO) began offering an online master of education degree this fall. The MEd program, approved by the Higher Learning Commission in May, is tailored for practicing teachers in the classroom.

The University of Dallas (TX) reopened its master of Catholic school leadership program this fall. The redesigned interdisciplinary program responds to the current issues faced by principals, presidents, and administrators at the elementary, secondary, and diocesan levels of Catholic education.

Lewis University (IL) launched a master of social work program this fall. And this summer, the university began accepting applications for its master of science degree in occupational therapy, which will begin in fall 2018.

Calvin College (MI) has expanded its graduate programming to include a master’s degree in accounting—the college’s third graduate program. The nine-month program allows accounting students to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in accounting within five years.

Webster University (MO) will begin offering its MS degree in cybersecurity at its Irvine, California, campus later this fall. The program was launched in Colorado Springs in 2014 in cooperation with the U.S. military. Since then, the program has expanded to several Webster University locations in the United States and Europe as demand from military and businesses for the program has increased.

Hood College (MD) now offers an MS degree in cybersecurity. The degree builds on Hood’s existing graduate certificate in cybersecurity and is designed for technical and non-technical students with a bachelor’s degree. The program culminates with a distinctive, team-based capstone project, linked to local industry and government partners.

This fall, Manchester University (IN) launched a new undergraduate learning community designed to help academically strong students with high financial need pursue careers in a STEM field. Funded with a $646,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, students in the STEM Pathways Academy will take classes together, work with mentors, and explore career paths. In January 2018, Manchester University will add an online master’s degree in pharmacogenomics, building on the success of the university’s pioneering “bricks and mortar” degree.

Bethany College (WV) launched three new majors this fall. An international business major will prepare students to understand the global marketplace, how international factors affect domestic markets, how to expand business abroad, and how to analyze the global business environment. A cybersecurity major will focus on the research and development of software and algorithms for protecting digital assets. And the cybersecurity-information assurance major will focus on developing skills to oversee the security of an organization.

This fall, Avila University (MO) began a BA degree in health care communication through its School of Visual and Communication Arts. The program will prepare students to design, produce, analyze, and evaluate media products, strategies, procedures, and content delivery for individuals, organizations, and corporations in health-related industries.

Warner Pacific College (OR) launched several new academic majors this fall, including in nursing (RN to BSN program), medical laboratory science, sports medicine, and criminal justice. The college also began offering an MBA bridge program that allows graduates of the MS in management and organizational leadership program to earn an MBA degree in just six months.

Newberry College (SC) has expanded its nursing program to include an RN to BSN degree-completion program that can be completed online. Designed for working RNs who have already earned an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing, the program will allow students to finish the nursing course sequence in as little as 12 months.

To meet the increasing need for Spanish-speaking health care professionals, this fall Cedarville University (OH) began offering a Spanish for health care personnel minor and a certificate program in medical Spanish. Students who complete the new minor can earn the certificate in medical Spanish by taking an additional elective, completing a clinical experience with Spanish-speaking patients, and completing a final Spanish proficiency exam.

Photos of two new buildings at Mars Hill University
Saint John’s University (MN) reopened its Alcuin Library earlier this year after extensive renovations. The open design provides space for group study, digital media labs, a writing center, and a tech support area. The Dietrich Reinhart Learning Commons, adjacent to Alcuin, opened in late August. The Learning Commons features student study areas, “smart” classrooms, a digital technology center, and a café. (Photos courtesy of of Saint John’s University; photo credit: Tommy O’Laughlin)


In August, Rhodes College (TN) held a dedication ceremony for Robertson Hall, its new $34 million, 54,674-square-foot cutting-edge science facility. The ceremony also showcased the renovated Briggs Hall—now the home for computer science studies and a virtual reality lab—and the Bill and Carole Troutt Quadrangle, which has a quadrangle layout similar to Oxford University.

Newman University’s (KS) Bishop Gerber Science Center officially opened in August. The state-of-the-art science building, complete with new laboratories and classroom equipment for various disciplines, was the main focus of the university’s Facing Forward campaign, which also raised funds to renovate existing nursing and allied health lab spaces.

In August, the first Westmont College (CA) students moved into the Global Leadership Center, a 45,000-square-foot facility that features two residence halls and a central leadership building with a large lounge, classroom, seminar room, office spaces, and coffee shop. Through the Strength for Today Campaign, the college raised $34.1 million to build the facility and another $8.7 million to fund leadership programs associated with the center.

Southern Wesleyan University’s (SC) new 67,000-square-foot residence hall provides comfortable single, dual, and triple occupancy suites for 243 students. The building also includes 15,000 square feet of space devoted to amenities such as a large lobby with a bistro and ample gathering space, fitness rooms, a theatre, and a conference room.

Aquinas College (MI) students studying in Ireland will soon have access to a state-of-the-art International Residential Education Center in the village of Tullycross, Ireland, home to the Aquinas Ireland Program for more than 40 years. The center plans were unveiled at a ceremony in Ireland on June 16. The $3.1 million privately funded project, to be completed in fall 2019, will consist of an education hub with a 50-seat auditorium, library, group study rooms, video conferencing facilities, and meeting rooms. The center also will include nine renovated iconic thatched cottages in Tullycross Village that can accommodate up to 40 students and faculty.

DePaul University’s (IL) new Wintrust Arena, home to the university’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, opened this fall. The arena anchors a neighborhood redevelopment project and will host year-round concerts, sporting events, meetings and conventions, and family-friendly shows in addition to DePaul basketball games.


Augsburg College (MN) officially changed its name to Augsburg University on September 1. Greenville College (IL) officially changed its name to Greenville University on September 20, 2017.


Please email news items for review to cic@cic.nche.edu. CIC also is interested in receiving “action” photos for possible inclusion.