June 2013 Monthly Update

June 2013 Monthly Update
William L. Fox

Retention: Two key measurements of institutional health are at an all-time high, signifying satisfaction by students and parents with the St. Lawrence experience.

Thanks to the good work of faculty and staff, the four-year graduation rate for the Class of 2013 is at the highest level ever at 80.3%.   This rate compares to the rates of liberal arts colleges in the top 25 of U.S. News and World Report rankings.  Further, the 5-yr graduation rate for the Class of 2012 is at 83.1% and the six-year graduation rate for the Class of 2011 is 80.2%, both all-time high levels for each measurement.  These statistics are preliminary; the rates will most likely go up for official reporting – which will include upcoming August grads as well. 

Admissions:  As of June 21, we will welcome 636 first-year students and 27 transfer students in August.  While we gladly welcome the class of ’17, a first-year enrollment on par with our two prior classes, each record totals, we will matriculate 27 transfer students, the largest number in 11 years.

Communications: Our redesigned website has been live for about a month, and the response from campus and external audiences has been extremely positive. University Communications and Information Technology staff will continue to work with departments through the summer to fine-tune and improve the site and its content management system. Further content management training, orientation and open-lab sessions will be scheduled in summer and fall.   Communications and Athletics finished their work on the spirit brand and previewed the new logos at a campus forum in May and at Reunion earlier this month. Look for an announcement on the "official" launch planned for early fall.

University Advancement: As of June 14, we have raised $11.3 million in total gifts.  The St. Lawrence Fund has raised $4,653,588 in cash and pledges.  Of this amount, we have received $3,996,127 in cash, up slightly over last year.
Trustees have shown leadership with 100% participation in the St. Lawrence Fund, donating $890,000.

Fundraising for the new residence hall remains our top capital priority, with $5.75 million in commitments to date.    Residence hall “Dinner and Dialogue” events with alumni, parent, and friend leaders have been held in Chicago, Boston, and New Jersey. 

Over 750 alumni and guests returned to campus for Reunion 2013.  Plans for Reunion 2014 include two major affinity reunions– the France program’s 50th anniversary and the Kenya program’s 40th anniversary.

As we continue to expand and measure Laurentian engagement, we encourage faculty and staff to use the online faculty/staff engagement forms to document the types of interactions you are having with alumni.   Visit https://alumni.stlawu.edu/fac-staff_engagement to share information. 

Libraries & Information Technology: The next wave of computer replacement is underway across campus. Almost 300 PCs have already been replaced (mainly in public lab spaces), with a further 850 to come over the summer.   Classroom renovations are also underway, from the placement of new chairs, blinds, and/or permanent technology to the complete renovation of Carnegie 17 and 18, combining both into a single teaching space. Other spaces being renovated are Atwood 31, Brown 112, Hepburn 111, Madill 222, Piskor 15, Richardson 105 and 303, and Valentine 204. More details are available on Information Technology’s website.

We have launched a new Library website, featuring a responsive design for mobile devices, a new site search, an eBook collections directory, and a structure that features key library resources such as special collections.
St. Lawrence University has selected Ellucian's Colleague Student Information System to replace the student portion of our "Saints" system.  Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar, Student Financial Service, Institutional Research, and Academic Advising will be working closely with Information Technology toward completing the migration between now and the Fall 2014 semester.

Wellness Initiative: St. Lawrence County has received a grant to work with several large employers to help promote and program wellness events and services.  The grant provides a very small budget to the University that can be applied for such expenses such as speakers, event refreshments, or health fairs.  While we already do what many businesses consider wellness, we can and want to do more.  Debra Mousaw will be our campus lead and welcomes expressions of interest from faculty and staff who might like to work with her to plan and promote wellness activities.

Residence Hall: As of June 17, contractors completed the foundation walls and waterproofed the exterior foundation of the new residence hall.   Next, the contractors will place piping, conduits and under slab drains in the basement floor area where the concrete slab will be poured next week.  Perimeter drains and the block-bearing walls will be completed in the next week. By early July, the first floor of the residence hall will take shape when the precast plank is installed.  Also this summer we will expect to drill the 23 geothermal wells that will heat and cool the building.

Summer Facilities Projects Update: The major projects for this summer’s campus improvements program are:

ODY/Herring Cole walk replacement
Pavement repairs and walkway maintenance
Campus wide landscaping
Replacing steam line from central heating plant to Johnson Hall
Installing boiler in Atwood Hall
Replacing compressors in both ODY and Dana
HVAC upgrades to art storage
Slate maintenance
Replacing high bay lighting for athletic venues with energy efficient fixtures
Upgrading campus fire reporting system

Academic Spaces
Completing the final phase of repointing of the exterior of Hepburn Hall
Upgrading the ventilation in the Griffiths welding studio
Revitalizing the stained glass in Richardson Hall
Expanding the Sustainability Semester classroom and making ADA compliant

Student Residences
Converting lounges located in Dean Eaton, Sykes, Rebert and Lee to residence space.
Renovating 53 Park bathroom
Renovating bath in 17 College

Athletic, All-campus and Administrative spaces
Resurfaced Burkman Gym floor
Resurfacing outdoor track
Irrigation improvements to baseball fields and practice fields
Installed ceiling fans in Vilas Hall
Installed new lighting and ceilings in Eben Holden