Centre College highlights success of recent graduates, premier scholarship programs at 2015 spring trustees meeting
The spring meeting of the Centre College board of trustees celebrated news of successful graduate outcomes, positive trends in annual giving and a promising review of candidates for the College’s new premier scholarship programs. The board met April 9-10 on Centre’s campus.
Recent enhancements and strengthened efforts on behalf of the College’s Center for Career & Professional Development were highlighted during the meeting’s plenary session, with the center’s director, Joy Asher, sharing favorable graduate outcomes for Centre’s Class of 2014. Of the 98 percent reporting, data revealed that 95 percent of 2014 graduates had secured employment or were engaged in advanced study within 10 months of graduation.
The most-represented industries for students entering the workforce are the international, financial services, health and medicine, education and non-profit sectors.
Centre’s newest premier scholarship programs also were featured at the spring meeting, including a review of the inaugural class for the College’s Grissom Scholars Program. Thirty-five finalists were recently invited to interview for the full-tuition scholarship designed for high-achieving first-generation college students, with 10 selected to become the first cohort of Grissom Scholars entering in the fall of 2015.
Representing the College’s family of major scholarships, three Centre students provided presentations at the board’s luncheon: Albert Anastasio, a senior Brown Fellow from Champaign, Ill.; Elizabeth Brandt, a senior Bonner student from Lawrenceburg, Ky.; and Josh Jerome, a senior Posse Scholar from Malden, Mass.
In reference to recruitment, Bob Nesmith, dean of admission and financial aid, reported a solid increase in first-year applications, with the Class of 2019 reaching nearly 2,700—a 9 percent increase over last year’s record result.
Nesmith also cited a marked rise in diversity among the application pool, with the largest increases coming from populations traditionally underrepresented on college campuses: students of color (16 percent) and first-generation college students (69 percent). Nesmith credited the launch of the Grissom Scholars Program as an important contributor to these record numbers.
Vice President for College Relations Richard Trollinger highlighted recent fundraising achievements as Centre enters the public phase of its $200 million Third Century Campaign. A key focus is working to meet the $20 million Lincoln Scholars Challenge. The College plans to enroll the first class of Lincoln Scholars in the fall of 2016.
Annual giving and alumni participation are also realizing favorable trends, largely as a result of the recent “Fund the Flame” one-day giving challenge. Held for the second year, the campaign again exceeded goals in terms of dollars and donors.
Additionally, Trollinger reported on five new scholarships, which the board voted to approve: the Brockman Scholarship; the Dena S. Diehl, Joel B. Dunn, and Shelby S. Dunn Scholarship; the Hauser Family Scholarship; the Roberts Family Scholarship; and the McLemore/Klump Scholarship Fund.
Randy Hays, vice president and dean of student life, emphasized Centre’s ongoing commitment to service, as displayed by the number of students engaged in service on campus and beyond. The Bonner program’s 62 members continue to provide meaningful service in the Danville and Boyle County community, while 31 students, faculty and staff chose to serve those in need in Chicago and West Virginia during Alternative Spring Break in March.
Hays also discussed preparations for summer campus events, including the College’s hosting of the Governor’s School for Arts for the second year, as well as various athletic camps and two leadership programs, Lead Kentucky and the Centre Compass Initiative.
Stephanie Fabritius, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College, received board approval for seven new tenure-track faculty hired for fall 2015: Maria Apostolova-Mihaylova (economics); Laura Chinchilla (Spanish); William Costley (Spanish); Mark Galatowitsch (biology); Azita Osanloo (English); Tara Strauch (history); and Johann Van Niekerk (music).
Additionally, the board recognized the retirement of five faculty members: J.H. Atkins, assistant vice president and associate professor of education; Mike Barton, H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill professor of biology; Phyllis Bellver, associate professor of Spanish; Barbara Hall, H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill professor of music, and Conrad Shiba, associate professor of chemistry. Kathy Miles, the longtime director of counseling services who plans to retire this year, was also recognized.
In other College business, the board approved the budget for the fiscal year 2015-16, the graduating class of 2015 (subject to final approval in May) and a faculty initiative to review policies and practices of the tenure and promotion committee.
In addition, five trustees were re-elected to serve six-year terms that continue through June 30, 2021. Those trustees are Thomas R. Baeker, Crit L. Luallen ’74, John H. Newman ’66, James C. Seabury III ’87 and James A. Smith ’80.
Officers of the Board elected for the 2015-2016 year are Randal B. Kell ’69, chairman; Mark E. Nunnelly ’80, vice chairman; James D. Rouse ’62, secretary; John A. Roush, president of the College; and Yvonne York Morley, assistant secretary.
The next meeting of the Centre College board of trustees will take place October 1-2, 2015, on the Centre campus.
By Amy Clark Wise