For Allegheny — What a Year it Was!
At last, the excitement of the holidays is upon us as students make their way home or perhaps embark on an adventurous road trip with another semester of knowledge and experiential learning tucked into their thinking caps. The year 2018 was memorable and eventful at the College, and with that in mind, the Office of College Relations presents the Year in Review for those who may have missed some of these major events and milestones:
As students returned for the spring semester, Allegheny welcomed Dr. Kim Vaz-Deville, an author, educator and community activist in New Orleans, as its keynote speaker as part of the College’s weeklong celebration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Allegheny gave prospective students a glimpse of academic life here and hosted the northwestern Pennsylvania National History Day academic competition, with middle- and high-school students presenting projects related to the theme of “Conflict and Compromise in History.”
Allegheny was featured in the Erie news media for tackling the issue of pollutants in stormwater runoff. Erie News Now’s Reed McDonough interviewed members of the administration to learn more about College’s innovative efforts to address this important issue.
The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, a 1972 Allegheny graduate and retired global leader for the Metropolitan Community Churches, visited the College for a 10-day residency, meeting with students, holding workshops, and co-teaching a course.
Generations of Alleghenians from around the world chipped in to support Gator Give Day, an annual fund-raising event for the Annual Fund which this year received 2,034 gifts totaling $371,892. Thank you, Gators!
Allegheny students James Burnette, Austin Bristol and Joe Nagel won first prize and $5,000 in Allegheny’s Annual Zingale Big Idea Competition, a contest sponsored by the college’s Center for Business and Economics and modeled after ABC’s popular “Shark Tank” show. Burnette, Bristol and Nagel’s team — Coin Capital — pitched an idea for a hedge fund that specializes in high frequency trading between the U.S. dollar and cryptocurrencies.
Commencement — held in the David V. Wise Center due to rainy and chilly conditions (No, not in Meadville!) — celebrated more than 380 graduating students and three distinguished alumni: John Aldrich, Barbara Hotham Iglewski and Carol Reardon.
More than 1,000 alumni and friends visited campus to renew acquaintances and just have some fun with former classmates as the College hosted its annual Reunion Weekend. It was a huge milestone for the Class of ’68, which celebrated its 50th Reunion with a dinner in the Tippie Alumni Center and other activities.
For the first time in the College’s history, new students arrived on campus for the first of three summer orientation sessions in order to give all first-year and transfer students an early Allegheny experience. Students registered for classes, learned about life at Allegheny, and enjoyed an evening bonfire with S’mores, making their arrival in August a little less hectic.
Allegheny announced the hiring of Tommy Pearce as the first varsity men’s lacrosse head coach in school history. Pearce joined Allegheny after serving as head coach at Frostburg State University, a school that had resurrected its varsity men’s lacrosse.
Allegheny welcomed high school juniors and seniors to campus during two sessions of its new Summer Academy, a weeklong pre-college enrichment experience. Students learned from Allegheny faculty, experienced the excitement and challenge of college life, and earned college credit. Next year’s Summer Academy sessions are scheduled for July 14–19 and July 21–26, 2019.
A “Bipartisan Road Trip” inspired Allegheny to honor Texas Congressional members Beto O’Rourke and Will Hurd with the 2018 Prize for Civility in Public Life. “The Bipartisan Road Trip gives us all hope that civility is not dead,” said Allegheny President James H. Mullen, Jr. “To the contrary, the torch of championing civility in public life is being passed on – from great Americans like Gov. (Tom) Ridge and previous winners of our prize such as Joe Biden and (the late) John McCain to a new generation of leaders represented so powerfully by Will Hurd and Beto O’Rourke.”
President Mullen announced that the College received a $7 million challenge gift from Henry and Patricia Bush Tippie ’56 to renovate Bentley Hall, the College’s oldest building and the site of its first formal classes. Another $6.5 million has been donated by others, with about $500,000 remaining to be raised for the renovation.
In its annual college rankings, Washington Monthly recognized Allegheny among the top 25 best liberal arts colleges in the nation. The Washington Monthly rankings are unique in that they recognize not only what colleges do for their students but what colleges are doing for the country.
At Matriculation, Allegheny welcomed the Class of 2022, whose members have impressive aspirations for their futures — and they’ve already built remarkable résumés of creating positive change. The class, for example, includes a horsehead fiddle player from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, who founded an organization to help youths explore career paths. And a junior Emergency Medical Services team member from San Antonio, Texas, who volunteered to provide free eye care to the homeless. And a Brooklyn, New York, resident who taught computer science to underrepresented populations through a Fortune 500 financial services corporation.
On the innovative academic front, the College introduced a new major in integrative informatics beginning in the 2018–19 academic year. The major is designed to help students understand the impact of information, data and technology on society and learn to develop new uses for data analysis.
As part of the College’s commitment to experiential learning, on a bright and balmy September afternoon, Professors Casey Bradshaw-Wilson and Richard Bowden moved their classrooms onto the rolling deck of a 19th-century fishing schooner and skimmed through the ripples of a gently turbulent Lake Erie off Presque Isle — much to the delight of their 30 first-year seminar students and a handful of Allegheny staff members who tagged along for the two-hour trip.
U.S. News & World Report again named Allegheny College one of the top 100 national liberal arts colleges in the U.S. — and one of the top 30 most innovative. U.S. News also recognized Allegheny as a school committed to providing students the best educational experience through programs and unique opportunities.
Allegheny welcomed two new members to its Board of Trustees: Thomas J. Sadvary ’75 is the former chief executive officer of HonorHealth. He retired in 2017 but continues to serve as an advisor to HonorHealth. Michael R. Young ’78, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a degree in English, is a partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York City.
During the 25th annual Make a Difference Day, Allegheny and community volunteers joined forces to work on more than 100 service projects in Meadville and Crawford County. The event was coordinated by the United Way of Western Crawford County and sponsored by the City of Meadville, Meadville Medical Center, The Meadville Tribune, and Allegheny.
The energy and society lecture series was in full swing as Robert Glennon, considered one of the nation’s leading experts in water policy and law, spoke at Ford Chapel. Glennon is a Regents’ Professor and Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of Arizona. Also speaking in the series were Jeffrey Ball, a lecturer at Stanford Law School and scholar-in-residence at Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy, and Dr. Julie Sze, professor of American studies at the University of California-Davis.
Allegheny was recognized in a new national ranking of “innovative colleges and universities that may not get the limelight, but deserve to be household names.” The list of “50 Underrated Colleges Doing Great Things” was published by College Consensus, a college ratings website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews.
The College refurbished its 100-year-old Crawford Chimes in the tower of Ford Chapel and let the sounds of traditional hymns and contemporary music ring across campus in time for the holiday season.
In a tip of the cap to the College’s recent retirees, Allegheny’s Communication Arts and Theatre Department students released the third season of the Meadiaville Listening Project, called “North Main Narratives,” an oral-history podcast that features recently retired staff and professors, with a listening party in the Meadville Public Library.