New Rochelle, NY (September 19, 2013) The Iona College campus community gathered on Monday, September 9, for fall convocation in the Christopher J. Murphy auditorium.
This annual event heralds the beginning of the academic year and offers the campus community an opportunity to celebrate collective achievements. President Joseph E. Nyre addressed faculty, students and staff, sharing news about fall enrollment, which includes 922 freshmen -- one of the largest classes in the last decade -- and 2,180 returning undergraduates. He also shared updates on endowment, annual fundraising, and a new resource for faculty.
“We return for the fall semester with a newly endowed $400,000 fund for faculty development and innovation,” President Nyre said. “By placing 20 percent of the surplus in an endowed fund for faculty, the Board of Trustees has funded a priority of the strategic plan in support of faculty, a fund which we plan to grow via the comprehensive campaign. We also return for the fall semester after a record year in annual fundraising. Our endowment has grown to over $75 million. This is a fund that continues to grow via philanthropy, prudent cash management and modest annual surpluses. The Iona College endowment supports student scholarships, faculty development and partially funds the strategic plan.”
President Nyre introduced the convocation keynote speaker John F. Ebersole, LPD, president of Excelsior College, who spoke on “The Intersection of innovation and Technology in Higher Education: Lessons Learned and Where We Can Go.” President Ebersole presented his perspective on the appeal for higher levels of degree completion, greater access to higher education and how online learning fits into the picture. “When standing at the intersection of innovation and technology, expect change,” President Ebersole said. “Those who stand still are at risk of being run over.”
Other highlights of Convocation included a processional led by the Iona Pipers, an invocation by Sr. Patricia McGinley, Provost Brian Nickerson’s introduction and presentation of faculty awards by Hugh Short, Ph.D. associate professor of English.
Each year awards are presented to an adjunct, junior and senior faculty member selected by their peers in recognition of excellence in teaching and professional achievements. This year’s honorees were Sheila Kriemelman, adjunct professor, Visual Arts Program in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts; the junior faculty award was presented to Deborah Volberg Pagnotta, professor, Speech Communication Studies Department; and the senior faculty award went to Catherine Mapp, associate professor, who directs the Dance Studies Program and curates and directs the Iona College Dance Ensemble.
Convocation concluded with a performance of the Iona Alma Mater by the Iona Singers, followed by a reception in Memorial Park outside Ryan Library and a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies.
Founded in 1940, Iona College is a four-year private, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers and American Catholic higher education. It is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs.
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