A Compendium of Recent News from CIC Member Institutions

​Celebrating Achievements

Large group of researchers and students pose for photo
Jeff Regester, High Point University (NC) instructor of physics and astronomy, and David Vestal, High Point University sophomore and student researcher, were selected by NASA and the Southwest Research Institute to participate in an expedition in northern Australia to collect astronomical observations in support of Lucy, a NASA probe that is currently under construction and due to be launched in 2021. In November 2019, Regester and Vestal joined about 25 other researchers to view Orus and help determine its orbital path. (Photo courtesy of High Point University)

In November, the Rhodes Trust announced the names of 32 Americans chosen out of a pool of 963 applicants as Rhodes Scholars for 2020. Rossella Gabriele, a 2019 magna cum laude graduate of Washington and Lee University (VA) who received a BS with a double major in physics and global politics, became the university’s 17th Rhodes Scholar. With the scholarship, Gabriele will pursue master’s degrees in both social data science and global governance and diplomacy at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Sarena Martinez, a 2016 summa cum laude graduate of Vanderbilt University who earlier received an associate of arts degree at Bard College at Simon’s Rock (MA), also was named as a Rhodes Scholar. Martinez will pursue a master’s of public policy at Oxford.

In December, the British government named the recipients of the 2020 Marshall Scholarships, awarded to U.S. students to pursue graduate studies in the United Kingdom. Of the 46 undergraduate students selected, two are from CIC member institutions. Emma Morgan-Bennett, a senior at Swarthmore College (PA), will pursue a master’s degree in anthropology of media and intensive language at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. And Lawson Sadler, a senior University Scholar of Baylor University (TX), will pursue a master’s degree in migration and global development at the University of Sussex.

The Institute of International Education released its 2019 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange in November. Once again, several CIC member institutions topped the lists of colleges with the highest number of students studying abroad. Arcadia University (PA), Bucknell University (PA), College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University (MN), Colorado College, DePauw University (IN), Eckerd College (FL), Furman University (SC), St. Olaf College (MN), Susquehanna University (PA), and University of Richmond (VA) ranked among the top ten on the lists of baccalaureate and master’s-level institutions.

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) featured a case study on McKendree University’s (IL) assessment initiatives in its January 2020 newsletter. The new case study provides an update to a 2016 study on McKendree’s use of the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP), which helped to define and refine institutional outcomes, especially around “diverse perspectives.” Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Continuous Improvement and Assessment 2.1 at McKendree University was written by Tami Eggleston, associate provost for institutional effectiveness and professor of psychology at McKendree, to analyze how assessment practices shift and flow over time. McKendree University was a member of the 2012–2013 CIC/DQP Consortium.

In October, Bloomfield College (NJ) was one of four colleges and universities recognized at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s 2019 Academic Nursing Leadership Conference for their commitment to improving nursing education. Skyfactor Benchworks, a Macmillan Learning Company that provides research-based program benchmarking and assessments to help colleges identify areas of improvement, named Bloomfield College among the winners of its inaugural Assessment and Impact Awards for Nursing Education.

North Central College (IL) was selected as one of six institutions to receive yearlong Working across Differences Fund grants from Ashoka U in fall 2019. Ashoka U is the higher education initiative of Ashoka—the world’s largest community of social entrepreneurs and changemakers. The award, which is supported by the Fetzer Institute, recognizes North Central’s dedication to helping its students, faculty, and staff members communicate effectively in a time of intense polarization.

Creating Partnerships

Two photos: 1. Woman at podium speaks to seated retired nuns and seniors; 2. Two easels display site maps for the housing development
Mount Mary University (WI) will soon be the site of an intergenerational housing community for retired nuns and seniors that also will provide an educational and supportive housing option for single mothers who are students at the university. The $45 million, 166-unit housing development by Mount Mary University, the School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province, and Milwaukee Catholic Home is expected to be ready for move-in by late 2021. (Pictured: Community members gathered at a press conference announcing the intergenerational housing proposal in December. Photos courtesy of Mount Mary University)

In December, Limestone College (SC) announced an articulation agreement with the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), a Virginia-based doctoral-level osteopathic medical college with a nearby campus in South Carolina. Limestone’s new partnership with VCOM will provide its pre-medical students an opportunity to receive a guaranteed admissions interview and to take part in an early-admission program. Also in a collaboration with VCOM, Averett University (VA) began offering an exclusive MS degree in applied health care data analytics in January 2020. The online program will prepare students to use data analytics to solve major problems facing the health care industry, creating more stable workplaces for both hospital personnel and patients.

McDaniel College (MD), Carroll Community College, and Washington University in St. Louis recently signed articulation agreements to benefit students with interest in engineering careers. The agreements provide seamless pathways for Carroll students who are earning associate’s degrees in engineering to transfer and complete their bachelor’s degrees in physics with a specialization in engineering at McDaniel, as well as for McDaniel students who are earning bachelor’s degrees in physics with a specialization in engineering to enroll at WashU. McDaniel students have the option to complete 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 at WashU.

Several CIC member institutions recently established or expanded partnerships with community or technical colleges. Brescia University (KY) and Owensboro Community and Technical College (OCTC) announced a new transfer agreement in October that will impact students in all 23 OCTC technical programs. The agreement allows students in OCTC technical programs that offer an associate in applied science degree to transfer up to 77 credit hours to Brescia toward a bachelor’s degree in integrated studies. Anderson University (SC) and Tri-County Technical College (Tri-County) formed a partnership in November that provides program support and services to enhance the transfer of students from Tri-County to Anderson. The partnership offers a seamless transfer pathway for qualified Tri-County students who seek a bachelor of science in nursing, bachelor of business administration (with concentrations in business administration, marketing, and operation management), and bachelor of arts-criminal justice (with a law enforcement operations concentration). The University of Holy Cross (UHC) (LA) and Nunez Community College signed a transfer agreement in October. The 2+2 program will allow students to complete an associate of applied science in business administration or accounting at Nunez and transfer credit hours to UHC for completion of a bachelor of science in business administration or a bachelor of science in accounting. Under a new partnership, Fresno Pacific University (CA) began offering classes at Reedley College that lead to a BA in business. The degree-completion program is designed to help adult students with some college credit finish their bachelor’s degree while balancing work and family commitments.

Gannon University (PA) and Erie Pennsylvania Public Schools are partnering to create a teacher-recruitment program. After receiving an Innovative Teacher and Principal Residency planning grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education in the fall, the two institutions will work to develop a teacher residency program that increases diversity among teachers and leaders in the education pipeline to better reflect the students and families served in the region.

In December, the University of the Ozarks (AR) finalized an agreement with Greystone Preparatory School in which the university’s campus will house the school’s military programs beginning this summer. Greystone has a one-year and a new four-year program for students who plan a career in military leadership. The four-year program is for University of the Ozarks students who are veterans or enrolled in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps, Navy Baccalaureate Degree Completion Program, U.S. Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class, Coast Guard Scholars Program, or Officer Candidate School. The programs help students earn their bachelor’s degrees and potentially a commission as an officer in the Armed Forces.

Hood College’s (MD) Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies was awarded a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service to research methods of mitigating cyanobacteria blooms in the constructed lake at Constitution Gardens, a large catchment in Washington, DC. Potentially toxic cyanobacteria grew in high concentrations in the lake in summer 2018, and the lake has experienced other toxin-producing blooms in the past. Hood College staff will help determine which treatment(s) to use, and after a treatment is deployed, Hood will monitor water quality and algae and cyanobacteria growth.

Berry College (GA) and Marriott International announced in December that a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott hotel will soon rise on college-owned property next to the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College. Construction for the 100-room hotel is scheduled to begin in fall 2020; the hotel will be managed by Atlanta-based Hotel Equities.

Major Gifts, Grants, and Campaign Successes

In October, business innovator, civic leader, and philanthropist Rick J. Caruso (JD ’83) and his wife, Tina, made a $50 million commitment to the Pepperdine University (CA) School of Law, which is now called the Rick J. Caruso School of Law in recognition of the historic gift. The contribution, made through the Caruso Family Foundation, will expand educational access to historically underserved student populations and fuel initiatives to strengthen the school of law’s academic programming.

When visiting Morehouse College (GA) in October to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program, Oprah Winfrey announced that she would donate an additional $13 million to continue the scholarship fund at Morehouse. The new contribution brings her total contribution to $25 million, which is the largest endowment for a scholarship in Morehouse’s history.

In September, Saint Peter’s University (NJ) announced receipt of a $10 million gift from former U.S. Congressman Frank J. Guarini. The gift will help transform and expand the school of business, bolster business programs, and establish new initiatives for the school, which has been renamed the Frank J. Guarini School of Business. Guarini, a Jersey City native who grew up across the street from the Saint Peter’s campus, has been a longstanding supporter of the university, serving on the university’s board of regents and in 1994 receiving an honorary degree in recognition of his public service.

Rider University’s (NJ) College of Business Administration will be known as the Norm Brodsky College of Business in recognition of a $10 million gift by the 1964 alumnus and his wife and business partner, Elaine. The gift will endow a scholarship for business students and support future business school projects. Their gift is the largest donation ever received by the university, and the Norm Brodsky College of Business is the first college at the university to be named for an alumnus. In addition, undergraduate business students with limited financial means will benefit from two new endowed scholarships created by board of trustees chair Rob ’87 and Janet Schimek through a $1 million gift. The Professor Barry Ashmen Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to eligible students within the college of business, and the Professor Dennis F. Wasniewski Endowed Scholarship will support eligible accounting majors.

Emory & Henry College (VA) recently received a $5 million gift from The van Vlissingen Student Foundation, a Dutch organization, to create The van Vlissingen Center for Career and Professional Development at the college. The center will work closely with academic departments to help the college’s 1,300 students prepare for careers. John Fentener van Vlissingen, the founder and chair of BCD Group, the third-largest business travel company in the world, recently visited Emory & Henry and received an honorary doctor of business degree.

A $5 million gift received from an anonymous donor in November will help Sweet Briar College (VA) expand its Presidential Scholars Program, the college’s highest scholarship award. The program offers full and partial tuition scholarships to Sweet Briar’s top student candidates based on quantifiable academic achievements and a rigorous interview process; the gift allows the college to expand the number of recipients by 40 percent.

The Hodson Trust recently granted Hood College (MD) $3.1 million toward student scholarships and the renovation of the college’s library and learning commons. About $1.6 million will go toward the endowed Hodson Trust Academic Excellence Scholarship Fund. The additional $1.5 million will be used for Beneficial-Hodson Library and Information Technology Center renovations, and will be matched with another $1.5 million next year.

The Goizueta Foundation awarded Agnes Scott College (GA) a $2.7 million grant in December to support the college’s Positioning Students for Success through Discovery, Exploration, and Connection program. The grant will prioritize postgraduate success by supporting digital skills bootcamps, career coaching, and professional development, as well as implementation of the Sophomore Class Atlanta Leadership Experience, which will fully launch in 2022.

Barton College (NC) received $2.5 million from BB&T and the BB&T Charitable Fund in October. A $2 million gift from BB&T will be earmarked for the naming of a new stadium to be built at Electric Supply Company Field. An additional $500,000, from the BB&T Charitable Fund, will be reserved for a strategic partnership between Barton College and BB&T to support and enhance local and regional workforce development.

A December gift placed Spelman College (GA) closer to breaking ground on a new academic facility—the Center for Innovation and the Arts. Leonard Riggio, founder and former chair of Barnes & Noble, and his wife Louise made a $2 million gift toward the construction of the 85,000-square-foot center, which will be home to a community of innovators, collaborators, artists, filmmakers, dancers, musicians, curators, art historians, and scientists. The Riggios are longtime supporters of the college.

In November, South Carolina resident and philanthropist P. L. “Roy” McCall, Jr. gave an outright gift of $1.2 million to Coker University’s (SC) School of Visual and Performing Arts, which will be renamed the P. L. and Belle Wolfe McCall School of Visual and Performing Arts. The gift will support the school’s programmatic needs and facility improvements, and a portion will be invested in the university’s endowment.

In the fall, Culver-Stockton College (MO) received a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor in honor of President Kelly M. Thompson. The gift will enhance two endowments to provide student scholarships and help fund the construction of an experiential learning center on campus.

In November, Robert Morris University (PA) announced a $100 million comprehensive fundraising campaign, RMU 100: Ready to Rise, which will provide scholarships to students, underwrite faculty research and new learning facilities, and ensure that RMU student-athletes continue to compete at the highest level. The university has already secured $92 million in gifts and pledges toward its goal; the campaign is the largest in Robert Morris history.

Oral Roberts University (OK) launched a new campaign in December to advance the university’s rapid growth. In the first phase of the campaign, ORU aims to raise $75 million over the next three years to fund new buildings and scholarships. The showpiece buildings will include a state-of-the-art media arts center, a new technologically-driven library, and a welcome center.

Lilly Endowment Inc. recently launched Charting the Future for Indiana’s Colleges and Universities, a new initiative to help Indiana’s higher education institutions further develop strategies to strengthen their effectiveness and sustainability. In the first phase of the $108.2 million initiative, the endowment made planning grants totaling nearly $6.2 million to all 38 of Indiana’s eligible two- and four-year colleges and universities. The following CIC member institutions received planning grants of $100,000 to $250,000: Ancilla College, Anderson University, Butler University, Calumet College of St. Joseph, DePauw University, Earlham College, Franklin College, Goshen College, Grace College, Hanover College, Holy Cross College, Huntington University, Indiana Tech, Indiana Wesleyan University, Manchester University, Marian University, Oakland City University, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Saint Mary’s College, Taylor University, Trine University, University of Evansville, University of Indianapolis, University of Saint Francis, Valparaiso University, and Wabash College.

In December, the state of Ohio awarded 35 colleges and universities across Ohio grants to support undergraduate computer science and information systems students and to strengthen the state’s workforce development in numerous technology-related fields. The five-year, Choose Ohio First grants were awarded to several CIC member institutions: Ashland University, Baldwin Wallace University, Cedarville University, Hiram College, John Carroll University, Marietta College, Muskingum University, Notre Dame College, Ohio Northern University, University of Findlay, and University of Rio Grande.

New Institutes, Programs, and Majors

Gordon College (MA) established a school of education in January as part of its five-year, comprehensive Faith Rising campaign. The school will combine Gordon’s existing graduate and undergraduate education programs under a “single administrative roof.”

The Charleston Southern University (SC) College of Business launched the CSU Center for Personal Financial Management in association with the Ron Blue Institute in the fall. The center is designed to train and equip CSU students and the greater CSU community with biblical principles of financial knowledge and money management.

Indiana Wesleyan University will offer an accredited master of social work (MSW) program at the IWU-Marion campus beginning in fall 2020. Building on the university’s existing online MSW degree, the new hybrid MSW program will offer an advanced and a standard track.

The Millikin University (IL) School of Education will offer a master of arts in teaching (MAT) degree program beginning in fall 2020. The program is open to all career-seeking professionals who have completed an undergraduate degree in an academic area other than education and gives candidates the opportunity to become licensed teachers in Illinois in the areas of early childhood education or elementary education.

In December, the New York Institute of Technology College of Engineering and Computing Sciences announced that it will offer a new PhD degree program in the 2020–2021 academic year. The PhD in computer science will offer students an advanced research-oriented education in cybersecurity, data science, cloud computing, and related fields.

Cedar Crest College (PA) continues to expand its graduate offerings with the addition of a modular master of science degree. In this alternative to a traditional MBA program, students complete two complementary graduate certificates in specific business areas from among three options: strategic leadership and analytics, management information systems, and human resources management. After completing additional core courses, students will graduate with an MS degree in their particular areas of study. Beginning in fall 2020, Cedar Crest College also will offer an MS degree in crime science, the first graduate program of its kind in the nation. The program takes an interdisciplinary approach to crime prevention and detection and aims to teach practitioners, policy makers, and community activists how to collectively and collaboratively manage resources to prevent criminal behavior or more quickly solve a crime that does occur.

After being one of the first in the state to receive approval by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, King’s College (PA) will soon offer a stand-alone degree program in PK–12 special education. In addition to a major in special education, the college also will offer students the opportunity to double major in PK–4 and special education, grades 4–8 and special education, and secondary education and special education.

McDaniel College (MD) announced that it will offer eight new undergraduate majors beginning in fall 2020. The new bachelor’s degrees include writing and publishing, marketing, actuarial science, applied mathematics, biochemistry, biomedical science, health sciences, and criminal justice.

Susquehanna University (PA) debuted four undergraduate majors in fall 2019—in graphic design, legal studies, international business, and management.

Trinity University (TX) launched a major in global Latinx studies last fall. The interdisciplinary program builds on Trinity’s existing Mexico, the Americas, and Spain program and explores the Latinx experience from past to present.

Chatham University (PA) began offering a bachelor’s degree in immersive media last fall. The program blends virtual reality and augmented reality technology with theory and practice to equip students with knowledge of computer programming, 3D modeling, design thinking, and more.

Trine University (IN) will offer a new RN-to-BSN program beginning in fall 2020. Designed to accommodate the needs of working RNs, the program will be offered entirely online.

New and Recently Renovated Facilities

Front view of Conservatory of Music
In November, Piedmont College (GA) celebrated the grand opening of its $10.1 million Conservatory of Music. Located adjacent to Piedmont’s chapel, the conservatory includes teaching studios, classrooms, practice rooms, and a digital music suite and houses 27 Steinway pianos. (Photo credit: Light Sources)

Ohio Dominican University celebrated the grand reopening of its historic Sr. Mary Andrew Matesich, OP Theatre in October with a performance by ProMusica Chamber Orchestra. The theater recently underwent a five-year, $1 million refurbishment, which included strengthening the theater’s exterior walls and roof; restoring its intricate wood and plaster work; painting its interior walls and ceiling; enhancing its stage lighting system; improving its audio and visual equipment; and replacing the theater’s stage curtain, carpet, and 549 seats.

In October, following two years of renovation, Millsaps College (MS) rededicated its iconic Christian Center as the Selby & Richard McRae Christian Center. Originally constructed in the 1950s, the center is home to the college’s humanities offerings. Work involved completely remodeling the facility, transforming a former crawl space into a second floor with conference and office space for faculty, adding a million-dollar, state-of-the-art lecture hall, and replacing the old auditorium with a 300-seat chapel. The Selby & Richard McRae Foundation was an early lead donor on the project.

View of symphony orchestra from balcony
Campbell University (NC) celebrated the opening of its Hobson Performance Center with an inaugural gala and wind symphony performance in November. More than 900 people packed the new auditorium, renovated in 2019 to add state-of-the-art acoustics, a larger stage, and updated aesthetics to the nearly 100-year-old D. Rich Building that sits at the heart of Campbell’s main campus. (Photo courtesy of Campbell University)

University of Dubuque (IA) held a dedication ceremony for the Ed Babka Aviation Learning Center in October. About twice the size of the former flight center, the state-of-the-art, 12,700-square-foot facility houses a dispatch desk, three classrooms, multiple offices, four flight simulators, flight review rooms, an unmanned aircraft system lab, a visitor lounge, and conference spaces. The center is named to honor the late Edward “Ed” Babka (DHL’98), a passionate aviator who served on the University of Dubuque board of trustees for more than 40 years.

In esports news, Virginia Wesleyan University unveiled its new Marlin Esports Arena in the Jane P. Batten Student Center in October. The arena is equipped with 15 high-performance gaming PCs featuring Intel Core i7-9700K processors, ASUS Prime Z390-P motherboards, MSI RTX 2070 Armor video cards, and MSI Optix gaming monitors. The space also includes a large projection system for audience viewing and game study. Bloomfield College (NJ) also unveiled a new state-of-the art esports center in October. The Bloomfield Bears E-sports Center is located on the bottom level of Talbott Hall.

Seven people cut a ribbon in front of a new building
The University of La Verne (CA) celebrated the grand opening of the Randall Lewis Center for Well-Being and Research in October with a ceremony featuring philanthropist and developer Randall Lewis, whose generous donations helped create the hub for physical, emotional, and mental well-being for students, faculty, and staff. During student-led tours, attendees visited spaces for collaboration, the indoor and outdoor fitness areas, and wellness programs tailored to mindfulness, sleep hygiene, nutrition, and stress management. (Photo courtesy of University of La Verne)

Have a Potential News Item for Campus Update?

Please email news items for review to Paula M. Miller, CIC editorial and communications director, at pmiller@cic.nche.edu. CIC also is interested in receiving “action” photos for possible inclusion.