January 2014 Monthly Update

January Monthly Update for Campus
William L. Fox

Dashboard updates
Six cells on the Dashboard http://www.stlawu.edu/ir/dashboard related to Finance and Advancement have had quarterly updates, all in a positive direction. Endowment Market Value, Return on Endowment, Net Endowment, Total Gifts to Date, Total Gifts to the St. Lawrence Fund, and total gifts for the new residence hall have new information.

Gunnison Chapel Restoration
We continue to work with the general contractor, the architect/engineer, the independent  adjustor and the insurance agency to understand and agree upon scope of work and then, the sequence and calendar of at least 15 separate projects.  We have identified alternative sites for Gunnison events through the fall of 2014 to make sure we have the time to complete the restoration work to the quality we expect.  We do not expect Gunnison to be available for events for up to a year.

Residence Hall Construction
Contractors are on schedule with this project, having now completed all exterior stonework. Temporary heating allows workers to continue with interior and infrastructure projects through the winter; plumbing and electrical systems and studs are being installed for individual room layouts.  We are right on schedule to be ready for occupancy by August 2014. 

Quad Landscaping
Faculty and staff are invited to preview plans for the new landscaping enhancement of the quad, work that will take place over the summer after the residence hall construction is completed.  We will have an open forum for employees on January 31 at 12 noon in Eben Holden Main and a town hall meeting for students, sponsored by Thelmo, on Tuesday, February 11, at 7 p.m. in the Winston Room. Our master planning architect will be present.

Herring-Cole Renovation
Thanks to a generous gift for this project, Herring-Cole’s original space (Herring Library, which faces Vilas Hall) will be restored and renovated this spring to become a study space.   New furnishings that allow quiet reading or group discussions, improved technology, and improved energy efficiency will be among the features of this historic building.  Workers have already begun cleaning and restoring original woodwork; we have ordered furniture for delivery this spring.

Sophomore Career Boot Camp
Over 110 sophomore students and 30 alumni gathered January 17-18, before classes began for the spring semester for Career Boot Camp. The program, coordinated by the Career Connections office with assistance from the Career Services office and several other offices, helped students work on résumé and cover letter-writing, as well as interviewing and internship-hunting skills.  We had great feedback from students, from their parents, and from the alumni participants who joined us.  Career Boot Camp is a direct result of Strategic Map discussions on campus and with trustees about enhancing the value of a St. Lawrence education by offering even more help to students to prepare for internships and careers. Those discussions that led to a $250,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation in 2011 to support our Career Connections office.   Then, once we established the Career Connections office, the Career Connections Task Force developed this creative idea.   

New Students
We welcomed 28 new students, both first-year and transfers, arrived for the Spring Semester in the days before classes began.  Student Life coordinated an orientation for the students.

New Registering and Advising System

The University is launching a new online system for registering and advising that will replace APR and portions of SAINTS, beginning later this semester. The new system – APR 2.0 – will bring many improvements to the process and better align it with our other systems. Academic Affairs and the Registrar’s office met with faculty and staff this week to discuss the new system and are meeting with students as part of a Thelmo Town Hall on February 4.  More information about APR 2.0, including detailed instructions for using the new system, will follow in the coming weeks and will be included on an informational website, www.stlawu.edu/apr2-information. The site already includes FAQs and a feedback form.

Admissions reports a 3% decrease in applications compared to last year, but considerably ahead of the previous year, well within the range to admit a class that will meet the goals.  February 1 is the application deadline, so much fluidity can occur day-to-day.

As of January 17, cash gifts to the University totaled $8.36 million, up $3.5 million over last year at this time.  The St. Lawrence Fund is at nearly $2.5 million in cash gifts, up $409,000 over last year at this time.   Fundraising for the new residence hall remains our top capital priority, with $6.5 million in commitments raised to date.   

Regional event programming includes a recent networking event in New York City with a panel focused on Communications and Media; affinity events including a HEOP alumni gathering in New York City and the annual men’s lacrosse fundraiser in New York City; as well as events featuring senior staff including a San Francisco reception with Jeff Rickey and upcoming events in Naples, Florida with Margie Strait and Phoenix, Arizona with Val Lehr.   A Women’s Initiative event was held on January 15 in Washington, DC and upcoming events are being planned for San Francisco, Los Angeles and Rochester. 

Our Online Laurentian Lecture Series continues with the most recent led by Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead on “Bullying-Prevention Programming and the Arts:  Creative Ways to Approach the Bullying Epidemic.”  Recordings of past lectures can be found at http://alumni.stlawu.edu/laurentianlectures.  Our February 19 lecture will be led by John Collins on “Global Palestine: Thinking Beyond Conflict.”

Early interest in Reunion weekend 2013 and the accompanying Kenya and France anniversary celebrations indicate this could be one of our largest reunions, with a record number of alumni and guests expected to return to campus May 29-June 1.  For more details visit https://alumni.stlawu.edu/reunion

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 and to take advantage of your University Advancement liaison as a resource. Visit https://alumni.stlawu.edu/fac-staff_engagement to share information. 

Our new free webcasting of Saints sports has proven popular.  A few stats:   heading into the weekend of January 17, 2014, St. Lawrence athletics has had 45,903 views over 62 completed events. Most men’s hockey and football games have gone over 1,000 viewers.  Probably no surprise that the men’s hockey game against Clarkson tops the list with 3,248 views.