March 2013 Monthly Update

March 2013 Monthly Update for Campus

Admissions:  On March 15, Admissions and Financial Aid mailed decisions and aid packages to the students who applied in the “Regular Decision” application phase.  At this time, St. Lawrence is offering admission to 45% of this year’s applicants.  We experienced a 10% increase in applications, so we will be admitting fewer than the 48% we did last year. Our admitted student group represents robust academic quality and socio-economic, racial and ethnic, and geographical diversity. 

Commencement:  This spring, St. Lawrence will award honorary degrees to Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) and former Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Joseph Kennedy, President Emeritus, SUNY Canton, and Dr. John J. O’Shea Jr. ’74, Chief, Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch, National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Our annual North Country Citation will go to Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, recognizing the hundreds of volunteers, board members and staff who have contributed to the non-profit organization in the past 30 years.  The Commencement Web site has details on the weekend and is updated regularly.

Residence Hall:  The Canton Village Planning Board approved the site plan for the new residence hall; we are now able to receive a building permit when final construction drawings are submitted and reviewed.  We expect site work and ground-breaking to begin in April.

New Website:  University Communications and Information Technology’s collaborative effort to redesign the University website is entering the home stretch. Over the past few weeks, communications staff have previewed the new site and content management system for University departments and held open forums to preview the design for students, faculty and staff. Training for content managers and at least one more campus session, focusing on navigating the new site, will be held before the planned launch later this spring. 

Commission on Diversity:  Members of the Presidential Commission on Diversity are now meeting regularly. They are reading and researching how other institutions have organized to address these issues and will be talking with community members about their St. Lawrence experiences. If you have suggestions, questions or information you would like to bring to the attention of the commission, contact Macreena Doyle (mdoyle@stlawu.edu), who is serving as staff liaison, or any member of the commission, listed online at here.

Libraries and Information Technology: The NY6 consortium (Colgate, Hamilton, Hobart  & William Smith, St. Lawrence, Skidmore, and Union) completed a joint RFP process and selected Hewlett Packard as the vendor for the Windows desktop and laptop computers for all six institutions.  
 
Representatives from Ellucian have been on campus engaging with key stakeholders as we finalize the process of replacing the legacy student administrative system (Saints) that is reaching obsolescence.  The University already uses the Ellucian Colleague software for the Finance and Human Resource Systems. A new Student System will manage the enrollment, financial aid, class registration system, grade submission and retrieval, and bill payment processes.   Implementation will take place next year.
  
On or before March 26, all students will need to change their password to improve our information security profile.  This will be an annual process for students and employees.  Compromised passwords allow for potential serious implications in allowing others to use, or misuse, resources that could include identity theft.  For more information:  http://infotech.stlawu.edu/node/1391.

Advancement:  We have received $6,737,167 in cash gifts to-date.  The annual fund (The St. Lawrence Fund) has raised $3,958,272 in cash and pledges, up 3%, over last year.  Of this amount, we have received $2,804,770 in cash gifts, up 8% over last year.  Fundraising for the new residence hall remains our top capital priority and has yielded $4.3 million in commitments. 

The Make March Count Young Alumni Challenge has St. Lawrence competing against Skidmore, Union, and Hobart and William Smith to see which school can secure the greatest number of young donors (classes of 2003-2012) during March. As of March 19, we hold a strong lead with 282 donors, against Hobart and William Smith’s 188 donors, Union’s 172 donors, and Skidmore’s 149 donors.   We invite you to reach out to young alumni in your network and encourage them to participate in this challenge. 

More than 215 Laurentians have registered to hear the inaugural online Laurentian Lecture April 9 that will feature Alan Searleman on his research on left-handedness.  We plan to schedule at least two of these online lectures each semester.  Another new program, Pre-Reunion Alumni College, Thursday, May 30, will include four seminars by Ana Estevez, Liz Regosin, Michael Schuckers, and Bob Thacker.  

Spring Break:  I’ve received positive reports of great experiences from the 10 International students who visited Washington, D.C.; the 10 students who helped build four Habitat houses in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and the 11 students who traveled to Staten Island to focus on Hurricane Sandy Relief.