Throughout my nearly 40 years in higher education, one principle has never changed: It takes a great team to build an outstanding college. As I reflect on my first two great years at Marietta College, the successes we have enjoyed are because of the remarkable people.
All across this beautiful campus, we have students, faculty and staff who make a positive impact, and they are why Marietta College is thriving again. That’s why I’m proud that we are investing in ourselves with unrivaled support from the Board of Trustees and the Marietta College Alumni Association Board.
We recently announced that our employees will get a 3 percent raise on July 1, 2018, along with an additional 2 percent commitment from the College to our retirement plan — bringing us to 7 percent (just shy of the 8 percent that it was for a number of years).
Thanks to the leadership of our Provost, Dr. Janet Bland, the College has rebuilt the faculty across the board and the quality of these individuals would make all of our alumni proud. We are also adding programs that are driven by the marketplace and hard data. Starting this fall, we will be offering majors in Music Therapy, Actuarial Science, Computer Science, Environmental Engineering, Music Therapy and Sports Medicine. Additionally, the Sports Medicine major will be a part of a 3+2 dual degree option that results in a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine and a Master in Athletic Training in five years. Our faculty approved these knowing that each could be added through existing resources while providing our Admission Office with more ways to attract students.
It was an exceptionally busy year for the faculty, who also approved a new General Education Curriculum that will positively impact our students for at least the next decade. All of this was a priority from the first day I arrived, and I’m excited to see the impact this makes on the education we provide.
Let’s be clear, though; we aren’t adding and building so we can say we have the best field or the fanciest residence hall. Adding new turf at two fields will provide our coaching staff a recruiting edge, but it is an investment in more than 300 student-athletes who major in English, Petroleum Engineering and Sports Management — just to name a few – and it can be used by all outdoor sports teams for practice as well as all students for intramurals and club sports.
We can make these financial commitments because of our growth in enrollment (we are expecting 400 or more new students this fall) and the prudent fiscal responsibility of the College’s senior leadership team — I told you we have some great people. Some of the growth in our enrollment is easily attributed to the new varsity sports we added recently. Our coaches are doing amazing work on and off the field, but the addition of men’s and women’s golf, as well as men’s and women’s lacrosse, has impacted our overall enrollment by 40 students.
Financially, our alumni and donors are contributing to The Marietta Fund (annual giving), many of the College’s greatest needs, and to the endowment through planned giving. Marietta College’s endowment has grown to record highs and recently eclipsed $83 million.
It is my honor to be a part of this incredible team that makes Marietta College so special.
Bring forth a Pioneer!