President's Blog

A STATEMENT REGARDING SUNDAY'S BOSTON GLOBE ARTICLE: “For Small, Private Colleges, Fewer Students Means More Worries”

Apr 5—As a first generational college student, I know first-hand the transformative power of a college education. A college education makes a difference and small, private colleges, like Newbury, are well-positioned to assume this role in our society. 

Demographics are changing and it is certainly impacting small colleges as the number of students heading off to college is in decline. When I assumed the presidency of Newbury College in 2014, the Board of Trustees and I were well aware of the changes that demographics would have over the next decade at small colleges. Rather than wait for this to impact the College and reacting, we took a proactive approach by developing Strategic and Campus Master Plans to improve our academic program, facilities and student experience.

Unfortunately, The Boston Globe used dated enrollment statistics for their comparisons. Going back to 1996 as the benchmark year for their enrollment comparison did not take into account how much Newbury has changed over the last two decades, including the transition from 16 satellite campuses to our home on the hill. Since 1996, Newbury successfully transitioned from a school whose primary enrollment was made up of evening and adult learners pursuing certificate and associate degree programs to what is now a comprehensive baccalaureate institution that has earned NEASC accreditation and re-accreditation; expanded its academic programs; enhanced faculty credentials; and added NCAA athletics.

Since 2014, Newbury has been recognized for improving the overall experience for students, from the creation of the national award winning Student Success Center to our recent inclusion as a College of Distinction and as one of the Top 40 Best Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report. Newbury has been recognized twice by the Davis Educational Foundation for academic innovation, and, recently, we received the Freeberg Foundation grant to develop a new state-of-the-art classroom for Hospitality Management. We have introduced eight new academic programs in some of the most career-demanding fields for the next decade and beyond. We have strengthened the career development and experiential learning programs for our students with connections to over 300 companies in the greater Boston area. These connections will ensure that our students are Real Life Ready when they graduate.

Beyond the classroom, we have also added the Chawla Fitness Center and the athletic complex at Hellenic College. The new athletic complex is home to our 17 intercollegiate NCAA Division III sports – including our newest addition, men’s lacrosse. Our women’s softball team has earned back-to-back national honors for having the highest grade point average in the nation for NCAA Division III.

Newbury has been innovative by establishing a three-year bachelor degree program with a fixed tuition rate of $15,000 per year. We have established new partnerships for graduate education, with Regis College for example, and expanded study abroad opportunities to include Japan, Italy, Bulgaria and coming soon – Bermuda. 

While Newbury is a small institution, our impact is significant. Our mission and students are the number one priorities in everything we do and this commitment brings forth the innovation and creativity that The Boston Globe article did not highlight.

There is no doubt that the future for small, private colleges will be challenging, but institutions like Newbury are defining their own future as opposed to being defined or shaped by outside factors. As President, I am confident that every student and all alumni benefit from the education they receive at Newbury College.


A RESPONSE TO THE BOSTON GLOBE ARTICLE: “Mass. Students Borrowing More to Attend Public Universities”

Mar 20—Graduates of the University of Massachusetts system now leave with about $30,250 in debt, according to The Boston Globe article from March 1, 2018. At Newbury, our students leave with about $27,957 in debt upon graduation. While the sticker price of a University of Massachusetts education is less than the one at Newbury, students and their families may find it surprising that a Newbury education is affordable, and, when graduation comes, you may have less debt as well. Given concerns over the cost of college, the average student loan debt for a graduate of the University of Massachusetts system rose by a staggering 77% from 2004 to 2016, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. 

As state funding for higher education has declined since 2001, adjusting for inflation, this has placed tremendous pressure on students and their families to afford a college education. At Newbury, almost 95% of our students receive financial aid. The net cost (after financial aid) to attend Newbury as a commuter student is under $14,000 and for a resident student it is about $23,400. You might be surprised just how affordable a private education at Newbury can be as compared to a state education in Massachusetts.

Private colleges in Massachusetts have done a remarkable job ensuring access and affordability in higher education. A private education has a number of benefits, as outlined by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM):

  • Massachusetts is the only state that educates more students at private colleges than public colleges. In fact, almost 275,000 students attend a private college/university in Massachusetts.
  • Private colleges graduate 71% of students of color attending four-year colleges in Massachusetts.
  • Massachusetts ranks 1st in the nation in the percentage of students graduating from private colleges in four years. In fact, 63% of students who attended a four-year private institution graduated in four years as compared to 35% who attended a public institution.

As we approach May 1st, National College Decision Day, a number of factors will influence where you decide to attend the next four years of life. Where you go to college matters. At Newbury, we believe that our location, our career-focused majors, and affordability are the right factors that will lead to personal and professional success. At Newbury, we ensure that you are “Real Life Ready,” without going into significant debt upon graduation. Cost is an important factor in your selection, but it shouldn’t be the one that prevents you from achieving the dream of a college education.


BLACK HISTORY MONTH AND BEYOND

Feb 27— My parents grew up in poverty, living in housing projects in Yonkers, NY. Their lives were shaped by the 1960s and the Civil Rights Movement. Growing up, my mother would share stories about Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcom X and Aretha Franklin – my mother has always loved Motown and the music of the 1960s. My dad was the sports guy – he talked about Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby and the greatest fighter of all-time, Muhammad Ali. Their lifetime friends were the very people they grew up with –people of all different races and backgrounds. Growing up, my parents taught us not to see color but to see the virtues of all people and to understand the darkness of racism and poverty.

I spent time this weekend reading Van Jones’ Beyond The Messy Truth and something I read struck me – 42% of men, women and children live below the poverty line in Flint, Michigan. When I researched the poverty rate in major U.S. cities, I found that 37% of the population in Milwaukee lives below the poverty line, 36% in Philadelphia and 29% in Boston. Poverty is eroding our major cities and stripping an entire generation of opportunity. Our politicians are failing to improve the lives of all people. Greater investment is needed in our urban areas and, specifically, within our schools. We need to create greater access to high-quality K-12 education and then access to affordable higher education. Education serves as the critical backbone to quality job creation. Quality job creation is essential in the reduction of urban poverty. 

As we come to the end of Black History Month, we need to remember to continue to dig deeper and have franker conversations regarding the social, political and economic policies that are affecting our black communities. While the Civil Rights Act took place more than 50-years ago, it should serve as a reminder that we need to do more to remove and eliminate racism and poverty from our communities. We simply have too many people in our communities who have given up on the American dream. 

As we celebrate the trailblazers, let’s also keep in mind the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and others who serve as role models and who make a difference in their communities every single day. Our students here at Newbury are making the most of their opportunities and I know their college degree will transform their lives and the lives of their families for generations. Our alumni are proof of this and are positively affecting social change. Opportunity, hope and optimism are powerful words that help shape our dreams and aspirations into reality. While much has been accomplished, Black History Month should also serve as a reminder of how much work needs to be done to eliminate racism and poverty and to improve economic, political and social equality for all. 


GET A FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE OF NEWBURY

Feb 20— Newbury is a unique community focused on career education and an engaging student experiences. Our close-knit campus, just outside the dynamic city of Boston, can be your home while you pursue your undergraduate degree and grow as both a professional and community member. The best way to find out is to come visit! Our dedicated admissions team is hosting our Winter Open House event this Friday, February 23. (Register here!)

When you come to campus, you will find a welcoming community ready to help you in every step of the admissions process and to support you throughout your pursuit of a college degree. Our admissions and financial aid teams will make the application process smooth and work with you on scholarships and affordability. We at Newbury make higher education affordable so you can achieve your dreams.

Our dedicated faculty are experts in their fields and prepared to offer engaging and experiential classes for you to make the most out of your chosen major. You will leave Newbury with the skills and knowledge to be successful in your chosen career as well as with the liberal arts foundation to become an engaged citizen, valuable collaborator and lifelong learner. Throughout your time at Newbury, our award-winning Student Success Center is available to help you in your academic work and our Experiential Education and Career Services Office provides assistance with internships, post-graduate education and the job application and interview process.

Come to campus and see first-hand not only our experiential and enriching academic experience, but also the 17 Division III athletic teams, the wide-range of student clubs and organizations, the leadership and community engagement opportunities and much more. Newbury could be the right fit for you—take the first step and visit campus to find out!


THE TRAGEDY IN PARKLAND, FLORIDA

Feb 16—The attack and senseless killing of 17 students, faculty, and coaches this past Wednesday at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has left many of us wondering how and why these tragic events keep happening in our schools. At just about seven weeks into the new year, there have been 17 various shootings in our schools or on school grounds across the nation. As we all process the news of this violence and its impact on our society, we face challenges to our very sense of safety and humanity.

For our students and parents, I know that the past couple of days have been challenging. My children (Colin and Emma) and I have been discussing this tragic event and for Colin it has been especially difficult as many of the students who were killed in Parkland were the same age as him. For these young people, their dreams and aspirations have been cut too early by this violent attack. 

As an optimist, I am hoping that we can do something to ensure the safety of our children and prevent further school violence. I know it will require stronger public policy, leadership and a willingness to do the right thing. This is about gun violence and the need to protect our schools, our children and all of communities from these senseless acts. 

I hope as a nation we find the courage and fortitude to do more. Our children, our schools and our communities demand it.


ON VALENTINE'S DAY:

Feb 14—Newbury is truly a special community to be a part of. Our welcoming campus is full of inspiring faculty, dedicated staff and, above all, passionate students taking on the task of earning their college degree. In today’s workforce, higher education is crucial in developing the professional and life skills necessary for success. I love the work we do in transforming so many lives and seeing year after year the pride from each student as they cross the stage at commencement. I know first-hand the influence a college education can have and know that our students leave Newbury prepared for what lies ahead.

I am continuously amazed by the contributions our students make in the classroom, on the field and in our communities. I love to see the transformation throughout their college careers as they confront new ideas, skills and challenges every day. It is inspiring to be a part of such a close-knit community where students are welcome to be themselves, take risks, and grow both professionally and personally. Each day, our community works hard to support our mission and strategic goals because we love our students, we love our campus and we love Newbury.


ON MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY:

Jan 15—Today, we remember the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. As a Civil Rights leader, Dr. King was instrumental in changing American society for all people. His leadership and vision were extraordinary as he challenged the thinking of society in terms of race and equality. While much progress has been made, we’ve been reminded lately of just how far we need to go.

Dr. King spoke frequently about the importance of education and character. At Newbury, more than half of our student body is made of individuals of color – from many walks of life. I think this is one of the enduring qualities of Newbury and one that serves as a reminder of what happens when a community comes together. Newbury’s diversity makes our Community stronger and more vibrant. I am amazed by what our students accomplish through their hard work and dedication.  

Rather than being divisive, we need to be more inclusive with our words and actions. Rather than assuming we know everything, we should be humble enough to ask questions. Rather than talking more, we should listen. Rather than starting with an answer, we should start with a question.  

Dr. King reminds us that the quality of one’s life is important. We need to remember this as we look to the future and to the opportunities we have to ensure that true equality exists for all people. Rather than judging people by their color, their race or their sex, we should judge them by their character and actions.  

The President’s recent comments should serve as a reminder of how much further we need to go to advance the work of Dr. King. As we remember Dr. King today, we should all be inspired by the potential of every individual and the need for greater action to deter against discrimination.  

With the start of the spring semester, I want our students to aspire and to achieve. I want them to dream, to ask questions, and to challenge us. We need our next generation of leaders to inspire and be capable of listening and asking the tough questions. As our students in HU100 know, this will require us to have a growth mindset and a strong liberal arts education. The students of today will be called upon to be the leaders of tomorrow and it is our responsibility to make certain that their education is a national priority.


NEWBURY COLLEGE TURNS 56

Jan 12—Today, in 1962, Newbury was founded on Newbury St. in Boston’s Back Bay. We are proud to celebrate the many accomplishments Newbury has achieved over the past 56 years. Ed Tassinari, L.H.D, founder and president of Newbury for 36 years, created the Newbury School of Business to provide important education to students in the Boston area. His goal was to create educated and experienced employees for the city. Today, Newbury has the same mission—to educate our students to be well-rounded and prepared for the constantly-evolving, modern workforce.

As we look back at the history of our institution, we celebrate the accomplishments and dedicated members of our community who made Newbury into what it is today. In 1982, Newbury moved its campus to our current location in Brookline; in 1985, the school was renamed Newbury College; and in 1994, Newbury officially became a baccalaureate institution. Since then, we have continued to enhance and expand the academic, athletic and co-curricular offerings, as well as renovate the campus. We’ve opened the Student Success Center, the Chawla Fitness Center, a new dining hall configuration, the Commuter Lounge and the Connelly Family Sport Court. Newbury has received many awards and recognitions throughout the years, including a National Award recognizing the Student Success Center by the American Council on Education and Fidelity Investments; a Top 40 College in the North Region ranking by U.S. News & World Report; two Davis Educational Foundations Grants; and a recognition as a College of Distinction.

We are proud of the accomplishments our institution has achieved over the past 56 years, but we should also be proud of our larger Newbury Community. Our more than 14,000 alumni continue to make significant contributions to their fields and their communities. Our faculty and staff work hard to ensure Newbury’s education remains mission-driven and career-oriented. Our students consistently show success inside and outside of the classroom and prove every day that they will positively affect the world after Newbury. And our generous donors believe in our mission and continue to support our strategic plan and, more importantly, our students.

We at Newbury look forward to the future with pride and optimism. I am excited to continue to enhance the Newbury experience for our Community.


2017:

ON NEW TAX CODE CHANGES:

Dec 22—As the nation prepares for the new tax code regulations that will be implemented early next year, we must ask ourselves how will our students benefit. Much has been stated about the new tax codes and how both the wealthy and corporations will greatly benefit from these regulations. One can certainly argue the long-term economic benefits that might be derived from these new regulations and the hope of new economic activity that will increase employment and overall greater financial wealth as a society. But, we must also examine the impact that these new regulations will have on our next generation of leaders and workers who are preparing for college and will graduate in the next decade. 

There is not much in the new tax codes that will benefit students today or into the years to come. Federal financial aid will shrink under the new plan and many of the need-based programs, like SEOG or the Federal Perkins Loan program, will be greatly compromised. Many states will see less revenue than more under the new plan, and this will create greater financial uncertainly in funding education at the local and state levels. We have been fortunate that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has continued to invest in education through its need-based financial aid program. Many students at Newbury College greatly benefit from the investment that the Commonwealth has made in education. But unfortunately, a number of states throughout New England have not been able to make the same the investment in higher education. 

The changes in the tax code will also affect charitable giving at many colleges across the country. Today, roughly 9% of Newbury’s revenue is generated through fundraising. Under the current tax code, many individuals use charitable giving as a means to reduce their overall tax burden. The federal government has projected that the new standard deduction regulation will reduce the number of tax filers who itemize deductions from 41M to 9M people. This drastic decline means that fewer filers will have the economic incentive to give to charitable organizations. At Newbury, our donors and friends have invested almost $9M in cash and pledges since June 2014. This has enabled the College to expand its facilities, increase financial aid for our students, and introduce new academic programs. These gifts make a real difference in the lives of our students.

No one can truly predict how these new tax regulations will affect the American economy over the next decade. Certainly, economists will run models and we will speculate the short- and long-term effects of the plan. But one thing is clear, the plan simply does not invest enough in our greatest resource – our people. A college education will be needed more than ever in the next decade. Since World War II, our society has been committed to educational accessibility and affordability. One thing is certain under the new plan  accessibility and affordability to higher education will change dramatically. For many homeowners who rely on the equity of their home to finance their child’s dream of a college education, they will now lose the ability to deduct the interest on the home equity loan on their taxes. If one thinks that education is expensive, try funding ignorance.

The opportunity and promise of an education is exciting, but the burden of affording a college education can be daunting for many. Rather than asking ourselves what the value of an education is today, we should be asking ourselves the value of education over the lifetime of the individual. From the globalization of the American economy to our local communities, our future depends on an educated citizenry. Education is about promise and the potential for a more secured financial future.  We must continue to create this opportunity and invest in our most important resource – our people.  


LOOKING AHEAD TO 2018

Dec 19—Newbury is doing great things. As we close out 2017 and look ahead to 2018, we are looking to the future with excitement and enthusiasm. For the first time in the College’s history, Newbury was recognized as a Top 40 Best College in the North by U.S. News & World Report. This recognition of the College is well-deserved given our successes over the past four years. In just 48-months, Newbury has been on a transformative and strategic pathway to achieve academic excellence.

We have made improvements in our facilities – with the addition of the national award-winning Student Success Center, the Chawla Fitness Center, and the Connelly Family Outdoor Sport Court, just to name a few. We have made significant changes to our academic programs. By adding new majors and increasing the number of terminally-credentialed faculty, Newbury is ensuring that our mission-driven education is relevant and contemporary for this century. Our faculty have done an exceptional job in revising our Liberal Arts and Business Cores to ensure that every student has the necessary academic preparation to be successful in life and in their chosen profession. As we look to the future, we are committed to improving the classroom environment and challenging everyone at Newbury to continue to move the institution to a new level. 

This is an exciting time at Newbury as we have expanded our collaborative partnerships with domestic and international institutions. These partnerships have created opportunities for our students to enhance their educational experience. Last year, two of our students were selected for the prestigious Washington Center Seminar – which enabled our two students to attend the Political Conventions for the Democratic and Republican parties. We have also partnered with Regis College to extend graduate education opportunities and with the American University in Bulgaria for a study abroad program. This summer we will welcome 15 students from the UNIVA in Mexico for a summer program at Newbury. 

Creating a defining student experience has been at the center of the College’s Strategic Plan. As part of the plan, we have expanded our Athletic program and created a partnership with Hellenic College Holy Cross for a permanent home for Nighthawks Athletics. This new partnership created the opportunity to expand the College’s Athletic program by adding Women’s and Men’s Lacrosse, Golf, and we expect to add Field Hockey in the near future. Our Women’s Softball team continued their streak this year by, once again, being named #1 in the country for the highest GPA of all NCAA Division III institutions.

Finally, I want to thank our corporate partners, friends and donors of the College.  With their financial support, we are making a difference in the lives of our students.  As we look ahead, we plan to expand our classroom environment, add on-campus housing, and begin to explore graduate education.  Newbury is charting a bold course for the future and we need your help.  A small gift makes a big difference at an institution like Newbury – I can assure you of that.  Please consider making a year-end gift and know that your gift is helping a student to achieve their dream of a college education.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season.


HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Nov 20—It is hard to believe that the fall semester is coming to an end. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, there is so much to be thankful for and I am grateful for all of the wonderful things that have taken place this semester at Newbury College.  

Our faculty continue to do a wonderful job in engaging students and challenging them to think critically and creatively. The academic program continues to get stronger with the addition of new terminally-credentialed faculty and new academic majors. The faculty are driving innovation and change with a new Liberal Arts Core Education program which will be ready for Fall 2018. Along with a new general education core, the Business faculty are developing a new major core to ensure that our students are ready for tomorrow’s business careers. These changes are significant as the College looks ahead to the future and how our graduates will need to be Real Life Ready.

And it’s not just the faculty who are engaged in this transformation of the College, but our students are as well. Each day, I am impressed by what our students are accomplishing inside and outside of the classroom. Newbury students are engaged academically and focused on the serious work ahead of them. As I was teaching Humanities 103 Western Civilization this semester, I saw first-hand the intellectual curiosity, the hard work, and willingness of our students to challenge themselves at the task at hand. Our Women’s Softball team, once again, was ranked #1 in the country for having the highest grade point average among all NCAA Division III programs. The level of excellence being achieved by our student-athletes is extraordinary.

The College’s administrative team and Board of Trustees are working hard to ensure that Newbury’s transformation continues to support our mission and our students. Since 2014, the College has introduced eight new academic majors – including the College’s first online degree program – added the Student Success Center, the Chawla Fitness Center, the Commuter Lounge, and the Connelly Family Sport Court; and we have been recognized as a top 40 Best College in the North by U.S. News & World Report.  

All of this could not have been accomplished without the work of every member of the College Community. Newbury is a special place and lives are being transformed. I am thankful for the work and the tireless dedication of our faculty and staff in ensuring that every student has the opportunity to achieve their dreams of a college degree.

I certainly wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!
President Chillo


NEWBURY PREPARES FOR ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT

Sept 29—Newbury College prepares for its 8th annual Nighthawk Golf Tournament at the prestigious TPC Boston golf club on Monday, October 2, 2017.  The annual tournament supports our NCAA DIII athletic program and our 15 varsity sport teams. We have been fortunate through the generosity of our community members, friends and alumni to use proceeds from prior tournaments to develop recreational space for our students and much-needed training space for our student-athletes. Most recently, the Golf Tournament helped support the building of the Chawla Fitness Center (2016) and the Connelly Family Sport Court (2017).

Proceeds from this year’s tournament will assist in the development of our new athletic facility at Hellenic College Holy Cross. This facility will be the Nighthawks’ new home field for outdoor (with the exception of baseball) and indoor sports. Since 2000, Newbury College and Hellenic College Holy Cross have had a strong and productive relationship. As this relationship continues to grow, we will be looking to welcome Hellenic College Holy Cross students in 2018 to our athletic program, enabling them to compete at the NCAA DIII level as Newbury Nighthawks.

With the monies raised through this year’s Golf Tournament, we will be developing the field for play this fall and spring along with the installation of a new outdoor scoreboard. This is an exciting time for Newbury Athletics and a great way for our friends and alumni to support our student-athletes.  

Go Nighthawks!


RESPONSE TO PRESIDENT TRUMP'S DECISION TO END DACA:

Sept 5—Today, the Trump administration announced its plan to “wind down” and end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program gave approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants temporary protection against immigration and allowed them to attend college and work in the United States.

I would like to take this opportunity to affirm that the Newbury College community strongly opposes this decision by the Trump administration.

DACA has afforded many undocumented people, who were brought to the United States as children, the opportunity to pursue their dreams of a college education and a career in a field they are passionate about. We at Newbury know the effect a college degree can have and we strive to provide these opportunities for all students, regardless of their immigration status or citizenship. These people do not deserve to have their futures jeopardized and dreams destroyed simply because of the actions of their parents. Therefore, I urge Congress to create a feasible solution that upholds the protections of the DACA program.

Eliminating DACA will have a tremendous, negative impact on the lives of thousands of students in this country—students who have grown up in the United States and who are intelligent, talented, ambitious, positive additions to our colleges and communities. These are people who pay taxes, contribute to our economy, raise families, and call the United States home, just like the average American citizen. Without the protections of DACA, these people will lose jobs, be forced to drop out of school and live in constant fear of deportation.

Newbury is proud of our diverse student body and will work hard to ensure the safety and success of every member of our community. Newbury stands with the students affected by the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA.

To any student affected or concerned about this legislative decision, do not hesitate to reach out to the following resources:

  • Jennifer Forry, Dean of Student Affairs
  • Susan Chamandy, Director of Counseling and Health Education

I want to again affirm our commitment to an inclusive and welcoming community and extend our unwavering support for our undocumented students.


A NOTE TO STUDENTS ON THE FIRST DAY OF CLASSES:

Aug 28—Welcome to the start of the fall semester!  After three successful orientation sessions, I want to wish the class of 2021 luck as you start your college career and become part of our Newbury Community. To our returning students: welcome back! Work hard to make this year at Newbury better than the last.  It is always an exciting time to have the students back on campus. As you begin this new year, get involved! Join a club, support our Nighthawks at a game, get to know someone new, or take a study break in the Nighthawk Café. Your year at Newbury will be what you make it, so work hard and enjoy the year.

Good luck on the first day of classes! This is an exciting time—one where you get to meet new professors, learn about new subjects, take more in-depth classes in your major or maybe take an elective that has always interested you.  Today, you are one step closer to achieving that college degree. There will be times where it will not be easy and there will be classes that require extra studying. Remember, we at Newbury are here for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your professors, make an appointment in the Student Success Center, or form a study group with your classmates. If you utilize the resources that Newbury provides, you can pass that difficult class, finish the semester, and go on to receive that diploma at graduation.

I certainly wish you much success this semester.


REACTION TO THE EVENTS IN CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA

Aug 14—This weekend, we witnessed the ugliness of bigotry and hatred at the events that unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia. These horrific events remind us all of how far as a society we need to go to achieve true equality for all. Both racism and bigotry cut at the very core of our values as a society and as a nation. The events at Charlottesville highlight the struggle that gave rise to the Civil Rights Movement, but it also reminds us of the darkness of the Jim Crow laws that overshadowed our country for almost 100 years.

In 1964, our nation passed the Civil Rights Act to protect against discrimination. Fifty-three years later, we still find ourselves confronting hatred. The challenge today is the lack of leadership and willingness to once and for all end discrimination. I am baffled by how many of our political leaders this weekend have failed to call the events of Charlottesville by anything else but racism, hatred, and bigotry. We give our political leaders a venue to speak and to react to what we say and witness. When they fail to call the actions of any event what it truly is, they enable racism, hatred and bigotry to live on. Our political leaders need to lead and understand the significance of their inaction. When you are in a leadership role, you have an obligation to all members of your community and each of us have a social responsibility to one another. As a society, we need to inspire the greatness of every individual, while taking action to hold those accountable who would rather see the return of Jim Crow. 

Education is a powerful tool against discrimination. In the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court struck down the doctrine of “separate but equal.” Our schools and colleges play a significant role in the fight against bigotry and discrimination. At Newbury, we value diversity not for the benefits of rankings, but of its value to the College Community and to society at large. When I see our students in action, I have the hope and aspiration that our communities across our great country can be as effective as our Newbury Community. We have students from all walks of life, but they all share a common belief in the value of a college education and its power to fight against discrimination of all types. 

While education is a powerful tool, we must do more to protect those individuals who are vulnerable to discrimination and hatred. The events in Charlottesville this weekend have no place in our society.  As we prepare for the start of the new academic year, we should remind ourselves that the benefits of a college education are not just measured by economic wealth, but by the good that one does with his/her education to benefit others. While your education will lead to a better job and certainly give you the opportunity to earn more over your lifetime, what you do with your education to benefit others is what matters.


NEWBURY PREPARES YOU FOR WHAT LIES AHEAD

Aug 3—Imagine thirty-years from now; what are you doing in life and as a profession? This was my grandfather’s favorite sentence to use when he thought you were not doing the right thing in school. His life was shaped by the Great Depression, the attack on Pearl Harbor and Neil Armstrong’s landing on the moon. He worked hard during his life, digging ditches in Grand Central Station in NY. My grandfather believed in the power of education and he believed that a college education would be a necessity in my lifetime. He was right.

Education transforms our understanding of people, culture and the world. It transforms us from a fixed mindset to a growth one – it sparks our intellectually curiosity. The world that you will inherit in thirty years will be dramatically different than mine, your parents’ or even your grandparents’.  Technology, globalization and communications are moving faster than ever before. Your access to information is immediate and continuous. Your ability to surf the web, navigate a myriad of facts and understand complex issues requires you to have a solid education – one that is grounded in the liberal arts and one that is preparing you for life.

College is more important today than ever before. Today’s careers and professions require a higher level of skill and understanding. Technology has changed our lives in many ways, but it also has changed the workplace. The use of technology is changing the very fabric of every industry in the economy and college graduates are best prepared to handle these changes successfully. The complexity of the workplace requires students to think independently, be valued collaborators and global-minded citizens.

And this is what drives Newbury College in preparing our students to become professionally competent and ready for life success. We call it Real Life Ready. We believe that your education should prepare you for a chosen career, but it also should prepare you for life. We value an education that is built on a strong liberal arts foundation and one that will place you ahead in your chosen career.

My grandfather never did see me graduate from college or become a college president, but I know he was right: a college education transformed my life and it has afforded me the opportunity to help so many students achieve their dreams of a college education. I am confident that every student who walks onto our campus has the ability to achieve a college education. They just need the opportunity, the willingness to work hard, the support and the grit to get it done. 


COLLEGE MATTERS, BUT AT WHAT COST?

July 24—Much has been written over the past several weeks about free college and how it will create new opportunities for students. There is no doubt that programs like Excelsior in New York or Boston Bridge in Massachusetts will make a difference in creating opportunities for students to attend college. Creating access to higher education is much needed and certainly a public good.

While creating access is a good thing, it does not ensure that more students will earn a college degree. In fact, the federal government (through taxpayer dollars) has invested billions of dollars to create access for those students who are economically challenged through the Federal Pell Grant program. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the Federal Pell Grant program cost taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2015 over $31 billion dollars.  With this type of investment, one would expect dramatic changes in graduation rates.  But, graduation rates for Federal Pell Grant recipients continue to lag behind those who are not receiving one.  

While New York and Massachusetts have both focused on this student population for free college, neither state has done much to improve the chances that these students will actually graduate. Rather than changing the system by adding more seats for this student population at their flagship institutions (like Binghamton University or the University of Massachusetts Amherst) or creating mentoring programs with faculty, these states have decided to continue with a flawed public policy that will do little to improve graduation rates.

More than 60% of Newbury’s student population receive a Federal Pell Grant and our students graduate because we focus on their individual success. Small classes, a dedicated faculty and resources to support students inside and outside of the classroom are needed if we are truly creating opportunity for these students to be successful in life and in a profession that our economy will rely upon in the 21st century.

Creating free college is a great public relations campaign, but it does little if we are unable to imagine a different type of education. A college education matters and it’s worth the investment. Having something that is free may have an immediate positive reaction, but I don’t remember having something that was free that I have treasured in my lifetime. I was a Federal Pell Grant recipient and I can assure you that while a lot of hard work went into my education, I also needed mentoring, a challenging academic environment, and people who cared about my success. As a society, we invest billions of dollars to create college access, but we invest little in creating a system that actually help students graduate.  


REACTION TO PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PROPOSED BUDGET CUTS TO EDUCATION

May 24—As a former federal Pell Grant recipient and first generation college student, I can assure you that President Trump’s 2018 proposed budget will be crippling too many students and their families. The proposed eliminations or reductions in key financial aid programs will hamper the goals of accessibility and affordability. Many middle-class and low-income students rely on federal financial aid to obtain a college education.

As President of Newbury College, I see first-hand how many of our students rely on financial aid, work off-campus, and save money to make their dreams of a college education a reality. The President’s proposed budget will severely impact the opportunity for many low-income students to obtain a college education. As the number of college graduates decline as a result of the President’s proposed budget, we will see the impact of this decision on future generations.

The U.S. economy relies on an educated workforce to compete globally in a 21st century economy. Having more students educated, rather than less, will benefit all of us. As a nation, we spend more than $80 billion dollars annually on incarcerating individuals – far outpacing the allocation we make to education. Rather than cutting education and opportunity, we should be focusing on the priorities of our nation and determine what is in our best interest collectively for the present and for tomorrow.

Reducing and eliminating federal financial aid for many who rely on it is simply short-sighted and fails to achieve the goals of creating greater educational accessibility and opportunity. Rather than continuing the cycle of poverty, we need to break it with education and make our investment in education a national priority once again.

The President’s proposed budget will have a detrimental and damaging effect on the education of low- and middle-income students. I encourage you to speak with your local Congressional representatives and Senators to remind them of the importance of education and how education can change the lives of many. Ultimately, Congress has the responsibility for setting funding limits and we need them to continue to reject ideas that are damaging to our nation, to our communities and to our fellow neighbors.


CREATING OPPORTUNITY THROUGH EDUCATION

May 11—Commencement is a special event for both the institution and its students. For the college, it is part of the tradition and recognition of the unique role that higher education plays in society. Corporations depend on colleges and universities to prepare a workforce that has the ability to compete in a global market economy marked by innovation and globalization. Our communities depend on college graduates to make our neighborhoods, our schools and our civic engagement greater than the generation before them.

Marian Wright Edelman, famed American activist for the rights of children, wrote, “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” The value of a college education should not only be marked by the net worth of the individual or the return on investment, but how has the individual contributed to society. Today, we are too focused on measuring the direct financial benefits of education rather than understanding the indirect benefits that we all receive from an educated citizenry. The more opportunity we create through education, the better our chances are to remove prejudice, racism and sexism from society.

While we all need our college graduates ready to compete in a 21st century marketplace, we also need them to be good neighbors ready to make a difference in the world. As I look out to our students on Sunday, I know that our faculty have prepared them to live the College’s mission to be professionally competent, ethically aware, socially responsible, and prepared for lifelong learning. While each graduate will finish their educational journey at Newbury on Sunday, they are ready to embark on a new journey that I hope will improve the lives of others and our communities.


THE IMPORTANCE OF GIVING

May 5—Today, Newbury College will be hosting its annual signature fundraising event – the Auction/Gala. For the past two-years, this program has enabled Newbury to transform its facilities and scholarship opportunities for our students. It is hard to believe that we have raised more than $750K from this event since 2015. I am touched by the generosity of our friends who make the Gala such a success.

This year we are looking to raise money to develop our Business Incubator Center. This high-touch/ high-tech academic space will provide our students with the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial skills. As we look to the future, we know that employers will be looking for a new generation of employees who understand technological applications and can apply innovative solutions to complex problems.

There is no doubt that the future of the American economy will rest on this new generation of students. Colleges and universities cannot rely on 20th century traditions and ideas to educate a workforce that will compete in the 21st century. We need to change and foster an environment that allows our students to develop a growth mindset and one that fosters innovation.

Newbury has done a remarkable job in adopting and changing our learning environment. From the national-award winning Student Success Center to the new Business Incubator Center, Newbury’s approach of combining industry and classroom learning makes it an ideal fit for tomorrow’s students.

We have accomplished much since 2014 because our donors and friends understand the importance of the work that we are doing today and the need to create opportunities to ensure that every student can achieve life and professional success. Creating these opportunities is why I have donated to Newbury since 2008 and will continue to do so. Investing in our students today means that we all benefit from their work and service tomorrow.


IS NEWBURY THE RIGHT COLLEGE FOR YOU?

Apr 28—As we approach May 1st, the college selection process is coming to an end. You will notice that the many questions from family members will shift from where are you applying to, to which college you will attend this fall. While this is certainly an anxious time for many, it is also one filled with excitement. Selecting the college that you will attend is a major decision. Trying to determine which college is right for you depends upon what you are looking for in your college education. For many, academics and location are critically important. Equally important are cost and if the education will serve you well when it is time to look for your first job.

At Newbury, our location provides the best of both worlds—easy access to Boston and a safe neighborhood campus. Our location also comes with the ability to connect with more than 300 companies in the Boston area. This will come in handy when you are looking for your internship, which all students can complete by their senior year.

With more than 20 different majors, Newbury will prepare you well for your career and for graduate school. More than 90% of our students have employment six months after graduation and/or attending graduate school. With our substantial investment in financial aid, a Newbury education is affordable. Our students graduate with less than $30,000 in loans, well below the national average.

While we believe that Newbury is the right place for your college education, we want to make sure that you select the right college for you. A college education is essential and it will serve you well throughout your life.


NEWBURY TO EXPAND ON-CAMPUS HOUSING

Apr 25—The College’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020 continues to guide our work as we improve our campus environment for the benefit of our College Community. Over the past three-years, we have made significant progress in improving campus facilities and strengthening our academic program. Fundamentally, we are striving to create a more dynamic living and learning environment that truly benefits our students. As part of the Strategic Plan, we established a goal to create a defining student experience with a more cohesive residential life program. As the College continues to focus on facility improvements, I am pleased to report that the College will bring additional resident-student beds to the Brookline campus for fall 2018. In addition, the College is exploring a more substantial expansion of on-campus housing as we continue to strive to have more students in residence in the coming years.

As we take steps to strengthen the on-campus community and bring a more traditional residential experience to the College, this will require us to assess our off-campus housing options. To prepare for the fall 2018 addition of student beds on the main campus, the College will not renew the lease on Audubon House which is set to expire this summer. While this news maybe disappointing to some, this decision will allow Newbury to expand on-campus housing and strengthen our student experience. The opportunity to expand our campus facilities, while improving the student experience, is a strategic opportunity that will strengthen the College for years ahead.

We will have additional updates on this new project throughout the summer. Please feel free to be in touch with Paul Martin (Vice President & Chief of Staff) with any questions regarding this project. Jennifer Forry, Interim Dean of Student Affairs, is available to address any student concerns related to Audubon House and housing for fall 2017.

This is an exciting time at Newbury and I am looking forward to this new opportunity.


THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDENT LEADERS

Mar 15— Newbury encourages students to take control of not only their education, but their overall College experience. Our student-leaders make the most of their time at Newbury: becoming role models for the Community, inspiring prospective students, creating opportunities for themselves and discovering new interests and passions.

Our mission is to encourage students to be professionally competent, ethically aware, socially responsible, and prepared for lifelong learning as well as inspire students to become independent thinkers, valuable collaborators, and global-minded citizens. Our student-leaders go above and beyond to hold this mission true to themselves and spread it throughout the Community.

So much of the Newbury experience rests on the shoulders of our student-leaders. The Admissions Ambassadors share their love for Newbury to prospective students and their families, and are often the reason many students decide to come here. The Orientation Leaders exude school spirit and help start off the College experience with fun, positivity, and community. Peer mentors serve as an inspiration and friend to all students, but especially first-year students. These student-leaders are remarkable in helping make the transition to College easier and motivating other students to succeed. Our Resident Assistants are able to handle any challenge presented to them— hosting a variety of events throughout the semester and helping residents with any conflicts or concerns. All of our student-leaders hold themselves to a higher standard and truly Make It. Matter. at Newbury.

Thank you to our current student leaders—you help make Newbury the special place that it is—and good luck to those students who have applied for positions for next year.


FROM THE PRESIDENT'S REPORT

Mar 1— In March 2016, Newbury College was recognized by the American Council on Education and Fidelity Investments for their national award in institutional transformation for the new Student Success Center. This award, granted to just two colleges/universities nationwide, recognized the transformative nature of the Center and the impact that it has and will continue to have on the academic success of our students. The Student Success Center has become a beacon of the academic future for Newbury College and the next generation of students.

This past spring also saw the grand opening of the new Chawla Fitness Center, which was an immediate hit for our student-athletes and created a new space for all students to be engaged in health and wellness activities. As we begin to change the environment at Newbury, we will redefi­ne the living and learning spaces on-campus with facility improvements that are essential to this goal. The Campus Master and Strategic Plans have created an intentional vision of what Newbury will become in the next decade.

After a record-breaking year in fundraising for FY15, I am pleased to share with you that a new record was set in FY16 with nearly $3M raised. We have been able to accomplish a number of our strategic initiatives without taking on additional debt. This has allowed us to strengthen the ­financial stability and vibrancy of the College. With record involvement from alumni, Newbury expanded the number of donors by more than 10% this year. In just two-years, the College has raised more than $7M in cash and pledges. This is truly remarkable and it speaks loudly to the belief that Newbury is making a difference in the lives of our students.

For the ­first time in many years, Newbury has introduced new academic programs in Cybersecurity; Cybercrime; Multimedia Communications Design; and Meeting, Convention, and Event Planning. Newbury also introduced its first online degree program in Hospitality Management. These new programs are mission-driven and will create new enrollment opportunities for the College. The College will continue to identify new academic programs, including additional degree options online over the next fi­ve-years. These academic initiatives are major components of the strategic goal to grow enrollment to 1,000 students by 2020.

This past fall, the New England Association of Colleges and Universities (NEASC) conducted its decennial visit to Newbury for re-accreditation. For more than a year, the College Community was engaged in the self-study process and greatly benefit­ted from its academic, ­financial, and institutional assessments. The Visiting Team identified a number of institutional strengths and areas of focus that the College will be attentive to over the next couple of years. The Board of Trustees and the Senior Team will continue to work on these areas as we strengthen the institutional capacity of the College for the next generation of students. The re-accreditation process affirmed the mission and the great work that the College has been engaged in over the past ten-years. We have already initiated plans for our next comprehensive visit in 2025.

As we look ahead to next year, we will continue to set ambitious, but realistic, goals for the College. The College will explore the possibility of conducting a capital campaign, adding a gymnasium, and expanding the physical foot-print of the campus. While these are trying times in higher education, Newbury has been ­financially steadfast in its economic position and approach. We will continue to expand our academic programs and facilities to ensure that our current and future students have the opportunity to achieve their dreams of a college education.

This is an exciting time for Newbury and I am truly grateful for the role that you and all of our friends have had in the success of the College. We are poised for great things and Newbury will continue to make a difference in the lives of our students and our society.


IS COLLEGE WORTH IT?

Feb 22—This question comes more up more often than not in conversations that I have with family and friends, not to mention prospective students and their families. As a first generation college student, I can assure you that college is well worth the investment that students and families must make. I was the alphabet soup kid when it came to financial aid – I had every source of aid from a merit scholarship to federal and state need-based grants to student loans. Even when I was working towards my doctorate, I had a very large student loan – which I am still paying off.

The investment that I made in myself is well worth the cost both in terms of time and money. I can assure you that the statistics are correct: you will earn more money with a college degree than without – roughly more than $1 million over your lifetime. While the press and our politicians would have you thinking that every students is graduating with more than $100,000 in debt, those cases are only the exceptions. At Newbury, we have committed more than $10 million in institutional aid. This enables us to keep our net price lower than most private institutions and comparable with state colleges in and outside of Massachusetts. In fact, most of our students graduate with less than $35,000 in debt – about the same cost of a good new car. Certainly, your education will last much longer than your first car.

Looking back at my college experience, I have realized just how much of an impact it has had on my life. I have a career that I am passionate about and friends and colleagues that challenge me every day to think critically and creatively on a number of topics. When John Adams, our second President, wrote the Constitution of Massachusetts, he understood the importance of education and, in fact, it is a constitutional right in the Commonwealth – check the U.S. Constitution to see if education is a right.

As we look ahead to the careers of the 21st Century and our current affairs in Washington, our young people need to be educated and ready to compete in a global economy. They need to be engaged citizens and active participants within their communities. A college education will assist them greatly on both fronts, but more importantly it will help them to be independent thinkers and global minded citizens.

College is well worth the sacrifice and I’m confident that you will see the great benefits of what a Newbury education can do for you today and well into your future. Priority admission for the fall is occurring right now, so I would encourage you to apply and to visit us during our Winter Open House on February 24th.


IN RESPONSE TO PRESIDENT TRUMP'S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON IMMIGRATION

Jan 30—As many of you know, on Friday, President Trump signed an Executive Order on immigration restricting people from seven specific countries from entering the United States. I would like to address this issue and assure all members of the Newbury Community that you are our greatest priority. As of right now, no student, faculty or staff member is directly affected, but we are not taking this situation lightly. While this situation is creating some anxiety across the country, let me assure you about our commitment to each other as members of the Newbury Community.

Newbury is an institution dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming community to all students, faculty and staff regardless of personal beliefs, country of origin, socioeconomic status, race, gender, or any other category. We are firmly committed to a diverse and inclusive College environment. You will continue to be safe, welcomed, respected and valued at Newbury.

We remain concerned about the members of our Community who may be directly or indirectly affected by this decision. This morning we identified several key individuals who can lend their support and help those in need of assistance:

  • Paul Martin, Vice President and Chief of Staff
  • Anne-Marie Kenney, Dean of Student Success
  • Jennifer Forry, Interim Dean of Student Affairs
  • Jonathan Harper, Director of Athletics
  • Dr. Laurie Gordy, Dean of Faculty
  • Susan Chamandy, Director of Counseling & Health Education

For our international students, I would strongly advise you to speak with Jennifer Forry, who is the College’s PDSO, before you travel abroad. In addition, I would encourage everyone to keep informed as this issue may become more fluid in the coming weeks and months.

Please reach out to any of these individuals for support or with any concerns. We are all committed to the well-being of the entire Newbury Community.


SPRING SEMESTER BEGINS AT NEWBURY

Jan 18—Welcome back, Nighthawks! And welcome, new students. Spring semester has begun and we have officially started our new Monday to Thursday class schedule. As a returning Nighthawk, it is important that you continue to improve your grades and take yet another step closer to graduation. If this is your first semester at Newbury, you certainly want to start off on a good foot, know that right now is a blank slate and you have every opportunity to achieve your academic goals and aspirations. I am confident that you all can succeed if you put in the time and effort. Your academic success requires dedication and a willingness to do better each and every day.

Our faculty and staff work hard to help our students succeed. We have a nationally-recognized Student Success Center to assist each student in their academic and professional pursuits. There are group study spaces, Macs and PCs, printers, photocopiers, and many tutors and counselors available as a resource. Remember, Newbury believes in you. Good luck to all students as we begin our Spring semester. For our graduates, Commencement is just months away – enjoy your final semester at Newbury! 


ON MATIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY:

Jan 16—As we remember the work of Dr. Martin Luther King today, it serves as a good reminder of the values that we cherish here at Newbury College. The importance of inclusiveness and the ability to embrace diverse thoughts and opinions are critically important to the democracy of our country and the responsibility that we all share in making our communities a better place. Dr. King’s legacy is much needed today as we are facing the potential challenges to the very rights that our Founding Fathers established in the creation of the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution. Today, we must remember the need to embrace diverse ideas as these ideas are the very ones that make each of our communities stronger.

Newbury’s Community reflects the very nature of Dr. King’s vision for inclusion and diversity. Our Community reflects the multicultural society that our world has become. Our values define who we are individually and collectively as a Community. I am grateful for the many wonderful things that Newbury represents and the diversity of our campus which truly enriches the educational experience for all. As we remember Dr. King today, it is important that we all take responsibility to ensure that his vision and the light of our society remains forever bright.


HAPPY 55th BIRTHDAY TO NEWBURY!

Jan 12—Today, we are proud to celebrate Newbury’s 55th birthday. In 1962, Newbury College, then named Newbury School of Business, was founded on Newbury St in Boston’s Back Bay. The school focused on educating students to be knowledgeable employees in the Boston area. Through the years, Newbury has undergone many changes: moving to Boylston St in 1968, becoming Newbury Junior College in 1971, moving to Brookline in 1982, becoming Newbury College in 1985, and officially becoming a baccalaureate college in 1994. However, Newbury remains dedicated to the same mission: providing a career-oriented education for students to be successful in the modern and ever-changing workforce.

As we look back on our history today and celebrate our accomplishments, we should be proud of our institution. Our alumni (more than 14,000) have made significant contributions to their fields and to their communities. The faculty and staff of Newbury work hard to ensure Newbury’s education continues to be relevant and mission-driven. Our students are engaged inside and outside of the classroom and continue to develop the necessary life-skills to be successful.

The College is moving forward strategically as it continues to renovate the campus including the nationally-recognized Student Success Center, the Chawla Fitness Center, the dining hall and the commuter lounge. New academic programs and athletic teams have been introduced and additional ones will be added in the coming year. We at Newbury are proud of the accomplishments we have made in the past 55 years and look forward to the future with optimism and hope of what it will bring to our College community.


2016:

CONGRATULATIONS TO NEWBURY'S DECEMBER 2016 GRADUATES

Dec 21—This December, we celebrate the graduation of 21 Nighthawks and welcome them to the ranks of alumni. For many, they will be the first in their families to graduate from College and to receive their diploma in May. This is truly a remarkable accomplishment and one that should be celebrated by all. For others, they are continuing the legacy of being college graduates in their families. Regardless of being a trailblazer or a legacy, these 21 students have left their mark at Newbury and are ready for what lies ahead in the real world.

Newbury is a remarkable institution. More than 60% of our students are federal Pell Grant recipients and 74% of our students are first generation. These young women and men have overcome numerous obstacles to arrive at college and Newbury takes seriously its role as an opportunity institution. Our faculty are dedicated scholar-practitioners who blend theory and real-world experiences into the classroom. This approach, along with a required internship, prepares our students and graduates for the 21st century workplace. But, creating a stimulating and challenging academic environment is just one piece for many of our students. We also have to ensure that our students graduate without significant debt – the average student will graduate from Newbury with less than $35,000 in debt – less than the cost of a brand-new luxury car.

As a society, we need more of our young people graduating from college. Having more students graduate will only help to improve our society for all. Let’s celebrate the academic achievement of all of our students as we conclude the fall semester. 


FIRST GENERATION STUDENTS STRUGGLING WITH THE COLLEGE PROCESS? I'VE BEEN THERE:

Dec 14—Thirty years ago, I sat down to complete my college applications hoping that one of them would accept me. I applied to just three colleges and I was fortunate to be accepted to all three. My college application process was not a well-defined one nor did it included admissions consultants, guidance counselors or my parents. As a first generation college student, I wasn’t even sure if I was going about it the right way. Letters of recommendation, essays, and just trying to figure out the financial aid process was an exercise.

With help from my parents, we completed the financial aid process and submitted all of the necessary paperwork. I remember being anxious and unsure of what would happen next. Looking back on my financial aid award, I realize that I was the alphabet soup kid that we speak of today – I had every type of aid - scholarships, grants and yes, even loans.

Looking back on the process, I truly appreciate what our first generation students go through even before they arrive on-campus. That’s why, as President, I make certain that Newbury is focused on helping every student achieve their dreams of a college education. I make sure that no question is too small or goes unanswered. I remember being a student and sometimes those small questions seem overwhelming to someone who has never gone through the process. It is a good reminder and a humbling one that we are here to help our students be successful. It’s my way of paying it forward!

Newbury’s Admissions and Financial Aid teams are also happy to help with the process. Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.


AS NEWBURY HEADS INTO FINALS:

Dec 7—We are only a few days away from the end of fall semester. This time of year can be one of the busiest and stressful times of the semester: students are studying for finals, preparing projects, and writing papers. While this can be a difficult time in the semester, especially if you are working to raise a grade or finish a challenging class, remember to take a step back. Remember that the hard work will pay off and that passing finals is one step in the journey to a college degree.

Newbury wants all students to achieve their dreams of a college education, but this can sometimes be a difficult path. Which is why we have our national award-winning Student Success Center and many faculty and staff who are dedicated to helping students first pass classes and then ultimately leave Newbury with a degree.

Good luck to all of Newbury’s students during finals week. It may seem impossible now, but you can do it. Before you know it, you will go, degree in hand, into a career you love. I hope you all enjoy the winter holidays and have a long and relaxing winter break. 


A THANK-YOU FOR YOUR GIVING TUESDAY SUPPORT

Dec 1—This week, Newbury took part in the global Giving Tuesday campaign to show the importance of generosity and giving back to nonprofit organizations, colleges, and universities. Thank you to everyone who took the time to donate to Newbury and thank you to our Advancement Team for their hard work and dedication to the College. We not only raised more than last year’s Giving Tuesday, but broke records for the most donations made in a single day for such an event.

I am extremely proud of the members of the Newbury Community for their commitment to our mission. Every donation makes a difference in the lives of our students. Earning a college degree can be a transformative moment in someone’s life and Newbury provides a career-focused education grounded in the liberal arts aimed at preparing students for the ever-changing job market.

We not only want to help all students achieve their dreams of earning a degree, but also want their experiences while at Newbury to transcend academics. Every day, Newbury looks to improve the lives of its students, whether that be academically, athletically, or co-curricularly. Your support helps make our mission possible. Thank you again to all of our donors.


'IT'S ON US' AT NEWBURY COLLEGE

Nov 16—I am extremely proud to be a part of an institution so dedicated to standing against sexual assault. The work that the entire Newbury Community has done as part of the national “It’s On Us” campaign is incredible. I especially wish to acknowledge Newbury Speaks Out;, the ROPE Committee, Office of Student Involvement, First Year Experience, Office of Residence Life, Pride Club, Campus Activities Board, and Dr. Courtney Cole and her Capstone I class for playing a huge role in the  “It’s On Us” Week of Action

Newbury has come together to make a difference on our campus and in the world of higher education in general. It is estimated that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted in college. Newbury is committed to changing these numbers. Our students, faculty and staff took part in many events throughout this week, eager to make a difference. Various clubs, activities, and departments sponsored a “Pledge Day” to educate the community and encourage many to sign the “It’s On Us” pledge. They even created an inspirational poster with multicolored handprints to show that Newbury stands with victims of sexual assault. Furthermore, Dr. Courtney Cole’s Capstone I class produced a  Public Service Announcement for the campaign. 

The members of our community refuse to be bystanders to the issue of sexual assault. The “It’s On Us” Week of Action showed that we can come together and make a difference. I am proud to be a part of such an incredible and active group of students, faculty and staff. 


PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP ON HIGHER EDUCATION

Nov 9—This election marks a significant moment in our country: Donald Trump, a non-politician, is now President-Elect of the United States. He is now in a position to begin work on the topics discussed during his campaign—including Higher Education reform. What is President Trump’s plan? What does it mean for the future of higher education and the future of Newbury?

Trump has not released an official plan to tackle the rising cost of higher education and student debt; however, he has shared his views during the campaign. He plans to work at lowering the cost of tuition and make loan repayment less of a burden. In a  speech in Columbus, Ohio on Oct. 13, 2016, Trump proposed capping loan repayment at 12.5 percent of the borrower’s income and forgiving outstanding loans after 15 years if the borrower has been consistently repaying.

Trump aims to place responsibility on colleges and universities themselves to focus their spending on the students. He also expressed concern for graduates being unable to find jobs. Newbury is not waiting for President Trump to release an official plan. The College is already focusing on preparing students for careers and emphasizing experiential education. All students must complete an internship in their major course of study to give them an opportunity to make real-world connections and gain practical experience. We have a variety of degree options (3- or 4-year Bachelor’s degrees, classroom learning, online learning, evening classes, etc.) so students can find the path to a college degree that works best for them. The new 24-hour Student Success Center provides an environment for learning and studying and houses many resources to facilitate academic success. And beginning next semester, the College will move to a Monday to Thursday class schedule to give students more time to meet with professors, work, care for families, complete assignments, and juggle other responsibilities. Student success is a major priority for Newbury, in terms of both post-graduate employment and debt. Newbury students graduate with less than $30,000 of debt, which is lower than the national average for a private college.

It is my hope that Donald Trump’s presidency will only improve the efforts Newbury is already taking to ensure all students can afford a college degree and leave Newbury prepared for a career. Over the next four years, I hope more and more students can overcome barriers in Higher Education and find jobs in the fields they love.


NEWBURY WORKS TO ALLEVIATE STUDENT DEBT

Nov 2— There is no doubt that student debt is a crisis in this country. Right now, almost 70 percent of recent graduates left college with student loan debt. As a career-oriented institution, Newbury works hard to prepare students for the professional world. We know that having a college degree will open many doors in the future, but that completing a degree can be a big, and sometimes unattainable, investment.

Therefore, Newbury aims to provide as many financial aid and degree options as possible so that more students can graduate and more students can leave college without the heavy burden of student debt. Last week, I wrote about our Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree program which offers a more affordable alternative to the traditional four-year programs. In addition to this option, Newbury also offers a variety of merit scholarships ranging from $2,500 for exhibiting exceptional Newbury qualities to full tuition granted as the Trustee Scholarship.

Our student body is full of dedicated, inspiring students who I want to see succeed in all areas of their lives. Enrolling at Newbury is only the first step to a finding a career you love. Graduating, getting hired, and limiting your student debt are all steps that Newbury will help you achieve.


FIND THE RIGHT DEGREE FOR THE RIGHT PRICE AT NEWBURY

Oct 26— At Newbury, we aim to provide a variety of degree options to ensure as many students as possible can graduate with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. We do not want any student to be limited by time or money, which is why we offer a Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree program. This option allows students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in only three years for an affordable price—participants have a price-guarantee of $15,000 per academic year over the three years.

This low-cost program gives many students the opportunity to further their education and become prepared for a career that they love. Three-Year Degree participants are able to have every experience of a traditional four-year bachelor’s program—we do not want the reduced time at Newbury to limit students in any way. Participants are able to complete almost any of Newbury’s majors (with the exception of Computer Science, Graphic Design, Interior Design, and Culinary Management), will complete six semesters during the traditional fall and spring academic year (as well as two years of summer sessions), complete an internship, are able to add a minor, are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities and/or athletics, and have access to all of Newbury’s student services from residential life to academic support.

Newbury is committed to providing the best student experiences and career preparation for all types of students. I encourage you to get more information on our low-cost Three-Year Degree program to see if this option is the right fit for your path to graduation.


NIGHTHAWK SOFTBALL: AN INSPIRATION TO ALL STUDENT-ATHLETES

Oct 19— At the beginning of this month, the Newbury Nighthawk Softball team was  announced as the leader in GPA in the nation. They outranked all NCAA and NAIA divisions for the NFCA Top 10 All-Academic Team Award. Firstly, a huge congratulations to the members of the 2015-2016 softball team who’s hard work and dedication made this achievement possible.

The team not only excelled academically over the past season, but athletically as well: the Nighthawks earned a spot in the 2016 NECC Championship Tournament for the fourth straight season (fifth time in program history).

I am incredibly proud of these players—their commitment to both academics and athletics is not an easy task and they persevered through the toughest games and toughest exams. Let these ladies serve as an inspiration to all student-athletes: with hard work and determination you can excel athletically and academically. Playing a varsity sport in college should not take away from your academic experience and accomplishments.

Nighthawk softball has epitomized the values of not only Newbury College, but of the whole NCAA. Their commitment to high academic and athletic standards truly shows what it means to Make It. Matter. at Newbury and beyond.


WELCOME TO THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDNET BLOG!

I am pleased to announce the official President’s blog for Newbury College. Stay up to date with the Newbury Community and our influence in the wider world of higher education. I hope you join me in the discussion of topics from the rising cost of higher education, to how we at Newbury Make It. Matter., to the amazing achievements of our students, clubs and teams.

Whether you are a current student, alumnus, prospective student, family member, staff, faculty or any other member of the collective Newbury Community, I encourage you to turn to this blog for a more personal view of our institution and higher education in general. I hope you all become active members in this discussion and am looking forward to your comments, questions and suggestions for this blog.

Get even more involved by following us on Twitter  @NC_President.

I am excited about this new platform and what the future holds for Newbury.

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