A Compendium of Recent News from CIC Member Institutions

Two photos: 1. Six students and two faculty stand together for photo; 2. Six students and two faculty stand with large DMZ sign
Dillard University (LA) celebrated its 150th Founding Anniversary Gala at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans in May. The black-tie event was hosted by hip-hop legend and Dillard University board of trustee member MC Lyte (Lana Michelle Moorer) and featured a performance by Grammy-Award winning artist Patti LaBelle (right). The proceeds of the event went to Dillard’s Student Assistance for Financial Emergencies Fund, which helps at-risk students who are on the verge of dropping out due to financial difficulties. (Photo credit: Sabree Hill)



The Center for First-Generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and the Suder Foundation, recently announced the inaugural cohort of First Forward Institutions. The First Forward designation recognizes colleges and universities that have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. Selected institutions receive professional development, community-building experiences, and access to center resources. Of the 80 members of the 2019–2020 cohort, 13 are CIC member institutions: Azusa Pacific University (CA), Baylor University (TX), College of St. Scholastica (MN), Doane University (NE), Furman University (SC), Hofstra University (NY), Ithaca College (NY), North Central College (IL), Pine Manor College (MA), Saint Mary’s College of California, Texas Christian University, University of Richmond (VA), and Westminster College (UT).

Franklin College’s (IN) Department of Mathematics and Computing recently received the American Mathematical Society’s 2019 Award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department. The prestigious national award recognizes a department that has distinguished itself by undertaking an unusual or particularly effective program of value to the mathematics community. Franklin’s undergraduate program was praised for its distinctive curricular and co-curricular aspects.

This spring, NAFSA: Association of International Educators announced the recipients of the 2019 Senator Paul Simon Awards for Campus Internationalization. CIC member University of Evansville (IN) was one of three recipients of the Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award, which celebrates specific international programs or initiatives that contribute to broad internationalization on campus. The university won for its UE Builds: Local and Global program that partners with Habitat for Humanity.

This spring, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation named 62 students—from more than 840 candidates nominated by 346 U.S. colleges and universities—as 2019 Truman Scholars. Six of the scholars are from CIC member institutions: Larissa Alire of Coe College (IA), Kenzie Campbell of Westminster College (UT), Monica Dix of Oberlin College (OH), Raie Gessesse of Hamline University (MN), Isaac James of Rollins College (FL), and Valerie Weisler of Muhlenberg College (PA). The Truman Scholarship is the premier graduate scholarship for aspiring public service leaders in the United States.

Oral Roberts University (OK) received the United States Distance Learning Association’s (USDLA) Impact Award at the organization’s 2019 National Conference in May. Recognizing the success of the university’s Global Learning Center, the award honors outstanding projects that lead to significant global impact, reach, and understanding of diverse cultures.

In April, the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation announced 496 award recipients for the 2019–2020 academic year. The Goldwater Scholars were selected based on academic merit from a field of 1,223 natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering students nominated by colleges and universities nationwide. Seventy-seven students from 54 CIC member institutions received the prestigious awards.

This spring, Campus Compact announced the 262 students selected for the organization’s 2019 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows, 84 of whom are enrolled at CIC member institutions. Campus Compact is a Boston-based nonprofit working to advance the public purposes of higher education. The Newman Civic Fellowship is a one-year fellowship for community-engaged college students from Campus Compact member institutions.

Two CIC member institutions won Interfaith Youth Core’s 2019 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. The Mike Hammer Interfaith Leadership Award went to University of La Verne (CA) graduate Damairis Lao for her efforts to build bridges through interfaith and intersectional work. The 2019 Rising Star Interfaith Leadership Award recipient was Hamline University (MN) student Stephan Holland for his work bringing interfaith action to the forefront of campus activities.


In April, the presidents of Beacon College (FL) and Drake University (IA) were party to a historic global accord signed in France by more than 100 disability advocates and university educators to charter an organization—the Global University Disability & Inclusion Network (GUDUN). GUDUN aims to make higher education more inclusive of students with disabilities and raise awareness among employers of talented graduates with disabilities. Over the next several years, GUDUN organizers plan to expand, through international meetings and online methods, a global partnership that aims to serve thousands of higher education institutions around the world.

The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) accepted 11 higher education institutions in 2019 as new members of the consortium—including CIC member Sacred Heart University (CT). CPED has a membership of more than 100 schools of education in the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand that have committed resources to undertake a critical examination of their education doctoral programs through dialogue, experimentation, feedback, and evaluation.

A partnership with Washington University in St. Louis gives McDaniel College (MD) students the option to enroll at WashU’s James McKelvey School of Engineering for a second degree, either a bachelor’s or master’s, in biomedical, chemical, computer, electrical, or mechanical engineering, computer science, or systems science and engineering. Students can choose to spend three or four years at McDaniel for their initial undergraduate degree before transferring for the dual-degree program to WashU.

AdventHealth University (FL) and Stetson University (FL) are partnering to offer an online program that leads students to master’s degrees in health care administration in strategy and innovation (MHA-SI) and in business administration. The dual-degree program is designed to be completed in as little as two years, with AdventHealth conferring the MHA-SI and Stetson confering the MBA.

Alverno College (WI) and the health care organization Ascension Wisconsin created a strategic alliance in May to improve the health of the state’s residents. Alverno will expand its existing academic degree, certificate, and credential programs in health care and develop new programs—including degrees and continuing education opportunities for employees at Ascension Wisconsin’s 24 hospital campuses and more than 100 clinics statewide. Ascension Wisconsin will provide expanded access for Alverno students to the clinical education experiences necessary in their preparation as health care professionals.

In June, Averett University (VA) and LifeSpire of Virginia launched the first educational partnership for LifeSpire, a continuing care retirement community in Richmond. The agreement includes a three-pronged partnership between the university and LifeSpire’s four continuing care retirement communities. The partnership allows employees of LifeSpire to earn degrees at Averett with scholarships awarded by Averett; LifeSpire residents to attend college-level lectures right where they live; and Averett students to serve as interns at LifeSpire.

The path for future pharmacists through Millsaps College (MS) is clearer, thanks to a new agreement between Millsaps and the University of Mississippi. The agreement offers Millsaps pre- pharmacy students with high academic performance preferred admission into the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. In addition, a new dual-degree agreement between Millsaps College and the University of Alabama at Birmingham will allow undergraduate Millsaps students to earn both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing in just five years.

Bridgewater College (VA) and Blue Ridge Community College signed a new guaranteed admission agreement in April. Qualified students who graduate from Blue Ridge’s associate in arts and sciences degree program are now guaranteed junior status when they transfer to Bridgewater College.

In May, Saint Augustine’s University (NC) and neighboring Shaw University (NC) announced an agreement that will allow the Shaw Bears to play their home football games at Saint Augustine’s George Williams Athletic Complex beginning this fall. The Saint Augustine Falcons will continue to play their home games there as well. The agreement aims to boost efficiencies as well as home football game attendance. For the last 12 years, the Bears have played their “home” games at Durham County Stadium, 28 miles from campus.

Female university students assists female middle school student on a laptop
Members of the Franklin  College (IN) community gathered in May to dedicate the new Franklin College Science Center. The two-story, 51,000-square-foot structure includes 12 teaching labs and three student research labs as well as flexible classroom spaces, dedicated student research space, collaborative learning spaces, improved technology, numerous sustainability features, and an outdoor classroom.
(Photo courtesy of Franklin College)


In May, Baylor University (TX) announced a $100 million gift from an anonymous donor for the university’s Give Light comprehensive philanthropic campaign. The largest gift in Baylor’s history will support the Baylor Academic Challenge, which incentivizes donors to establish endowed funds for strategic academic initiatives.

During the Morehouse College (GA) class of 2019 commencement address this spring, Robert F. Smith pledged to pay off the student debt of the entire graduating class—a gift worth roughly $40 million. Smith, the billionaire chair and chief executive of Vista Equity Partners, asked that the graduates pay the gift forward for future graduates.

Ohio Wesleyan University in May announced the receipt of $23.6 million in gifts and pledges to support its Connect Today, Create Tomorrow campaign. The contributions included $10 million from an anonymous alumni couple—the largest single gift in the university’s 177-year history. The gift will support the residential campus, including the construction of senior student apartments and the renovation of historic Slocum Hall. Other gifts included $5 million from Ohio Wesleyan board of trustees chair John F. Milligan and Kathryn Bradford Milligan, both members of the OWU Class of 1983, to renew the residential campus; $4.2 million from trustee Katherine Boles Smith (’71) and Alton Smith, to support residential renewal, faculty development, and other university priorities; and $2.2 million from trustee Kara J. Trott (’83) to support residential renewal.

In the spring, Rollins College (FL) trustee Kathleen W. Rollins (’75) committed $10 million to the renovation of the college’s Mills Memorial Hall. The renovated building, which will house ten curricular and co-curricular programs when it opens this fall, will now be known as Kathleen W. Rollins Hall.

In March, Arcadia University (PA) announced receipt of an $8.6 million gift, the result of a 1980 agreement between the university and Ellington Beavers. Beavers was a retired chemist who died in 2015 after decades of working with Arcadia students and chemistry professors, founding the medical device coating company Biocoat, and promising a percentage of proceeds from the eventual sale of Biocoat to Arcadia. Arcadia received the largest single gift in the university’s history after 1315 Capital acquired Biocoat in December 2018.

Walsh University (OH) announced an $8.3 million legacy gift in June, marking the largest gift in the university’s history. Donated by longtime Walsh University supporters Bill (’64) and Trina Rambo (RN), the gift will support the advancement of Walsh’s Byers School of Nursing through program development, scholarships, and lab updates.

This spring, McKendree University (IL) received the largest gift in its history—a $6 million donation from 1976 alumnus John Bailey. A longtime member of the board of trustees, he pledged the gift to be paid over time to FORWARD: The Campaign for McKendree University. Launched in 2016, the $40 million campaign is raising funds for renovations of Holman Library and Voigt Science Hall, as well as for endowed scholarships and faculty positions.

In April, William Jewell College (MO) received a $5 million lead gift from the Sunderland Foundation for construction of a new Center for Sports and Fitness. The $20 million facility will serve as a multi-use space for NCAA Division II athletics and student recreation and will include competition and practice courts for basketball and volleyball, a performance gymnasium, fitness center, event terrace, and more.

Virginia Union University announced a $2.5 million gift in May, the largest in the university’s history from an individual. The gift was presented during the 2019 commencement by Virginia B. Howerton (’65), owner of ViGar Enterprises, Inc. and the Crimson Development Company. The funds will be used toward strategic growth projects, historic preservation on campus, and student scholarships.

Hiram College (OH) received an unrestricted gift of $2 million from an anonymous donor in June. Hiram will use the gift to advance projects and priorities included in Hiram’s New Liberal Arts curriculum.

Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (ATI) gave $1 million to Robert Morris University (PA) in May to create the university’s first endowed professorship, the Richard J. Harshman Professorship in Accounting. ATI made the donation in honor of Rich Harshman, a 1978 RMU graduate who recently retired as ATI president, chair, and CEO, and who currently chairs the RMU board of trustees.

In June, Newberry College (SC) received a $1 million gift from the Kadilhen Foundation to support the college’s Center for Student Success. The gift will support academic success coaches, peer mentors, the college transition course, and supplemental instruction. Newberry also will use the funds to enhance programs including career counseling, financial literacy, academic advising, and the early-alert system.

This spring, PepsiCo Recycling announced 27 academic institutions that will earn funding through its Zero Impact Fund for sustainability initiatives proposed during the 2018–2019 academic year. The fund allows representatives of eligible colleges or universities to submit proposals to create or strengthen green initiatives on campus, with winners receiving up to $10,000 toward making those ideas a reality. Ten of the 2019 winners are CIC member institutions: Capital University (OH), Centre College (KY), Earlham College (IN), Furman University (SC), Hamline University (MN), Hope College (MI), Otterbein University (OH), Waynesburg University (PA), West Virginia Wesleyan College (WV), and Westminster College (UT).


This fall, Tiffin University (OH) launched its first PhD program—in global leadership and change. Designed for active professionals in many fields, the program is offered online with limited residency requirements.

Students interested in biology and psychology will have a new major option at DeSales University (PA) beginning in fall 2020: neuroscience. The BS degree is expected to become one of the largest majors within the university’s division of sciences and mathematics.

Regis College (MA) has announced a new fast-track degree program that will allow undergraduate students to earn their bachelor’s degree in just three years, beginning in fall 2020. Designed for highly motivated students, the three-year bachelor’s option will be offered in biology, humanities, psychology, social work, and global business management majors.

McDaniel College (MD) began a new engineering track in the fall that allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree in physics with a specialization in engineering.

Mount Mercy University (IA) now offers teachers an English as a second language endorsement area as part of the university’s masters of arts in education program. In addition, Mount Mercy now offers an accelerated degree pathway for individuals who want to teach and already hold a bachelor’s degree but do not hold a teaching license. Two licensure options are available: elementary education and secondary education with endorsement areas in English, history, biology, mathematics, business, art, and music.

Saint Leo University (FL) added five new online degree programs this fall. They include BAs in elementary education, educational studies with a specialization in early childhood development, and human services, and BS and MS degrees in software engineering.

Indiana Wesleyan University added a theatre education major to its academic offerings this fall. The major is designed to prepare teachers for elementary, middle school, and high school theatre and dramatic arts programs.

This fall, Furman University (SC) began offering a major in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. In addition to the relevant coursework, undergraduates have opportunities to complete student-designed, faculty-mentored research as well as internships that help students connect their academic interest in women’s, gender, and LGBT issues with their career aspirations.

Methodist College (IL) recently added a master of science in nursing-prelicensure to its graduate programs of study. The program allows individuals with a bachelor’s degree in a non- nursing subject to earn a graduate degree in nursing and to be eligible to sit for the nursing licensing exam. Methodist also recently added an accelerated prelicensure option to its bachelor of science in nursing degree for transfer students who have completed all prerequisite general education courses.

Emmanuel College (MA) recently began offering a four-year undergraduate nursing program. The program combines classroom and laboratory experiences, clinical practice placements, and a liberal arts and sciences curriculum to prepare students to pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

The College of Saint Elizabeth (NJ) launched a new physician assistant program this fall. The 27-month MS degree program aims to equip graduates with strong medical knowledge as well as the critical thinking, interpersonal, and communication skills that define effective practitioners.

Caldwell University (NJ) has announced a new BS degree in esports management. Offered within Caldwell’s School of Business and Computer Science, the degree is designed to prepare students for careers in the electronic sports gaming industry with opportunities for employment in finance, marketing, event planning, operations, and entertainment.

Southern Wesleyan University (SC) now offers a program designed to equip future co-vocational church leaders looking to become effective ministers in both the church and in the workplace. The co-vocational program aims to equip students with the academic competencies for Wesleyan ordination with a major in Christian ministry, youth and children ministry, or Christian worship, as well as workplace skills offered through majors such as biology, environmental studies, English, history, and human services.

Three students test 3D motion campture software
Columbia College Chicago (IL) opened its first student center in September. The five-story, 114,000 square-foot building features a maker space to develop projects and learn new skills, music practice rooms, a film-screening room, dining options, gender-neutral restrooms, a fitness center, a reflection room for meditation and prayer, and event spaces for meetings, performances, and receptions. (Photo credit: Philip Dembinski ‘08; Photo courtesy of Columbia College Chicago)


In May, Caldwell University (NJ) celebrated the opening and dedication of its new multicultural center, which will serve as a resource for the promotion of multicultural consciousness, understanding, and appreciation. The Eileen Jones Multicultural Center is named after Eileen Jones, Esq. (’57), the first African American student to attend and graduate from Caldwell University and a lifetime supporter of the college. Before her passing in January 2019, she donated a gift of property to the university with the intention that the proceeds of its sale be used to establish a multicultural center on campus.

John Brown University (AR) announced in May the establishment of the Center for Faith and Flourishing. The center will provide programming, curriculum, partnerships, and activities dedicated to exploring the relationship between Christianity and human flourishing.

Charleston Southern University’s (SC) first new student residence hall in more than 30 years opened in March. Known informally as “The Suites,” the 209-bed hall with 53 suites offers amenities such as a community kitchen, a 40-person conference room, and personal study areas throughout the rooms and building.

Sacred Heart University (CT) announced in May that it will reopen the long-shuttered Community Theater in downtown Fairfield as the new Sacred Heart University Community Theater. The university signed a ten-year lease to create a premier arts and education site that will serve university students and the entire Fairfield community. A full-scale renovation should be completed in 2020, just in time for the theater’s 100th anniversary.

Newman University (KS) recently designated Merlini Hall as a pet-friendly residence hall option for students. The hall has been converted from double rooms to singles, creating more space for the student and pet. Students will be allowed to bring a cat or dog to live with them, under certain restrictions.


Please email news items for review to Paula M. Miller, CIC editorial and communications director, at pmiller@cic.nche.edu.