The Allegheny Year in Review
A new president, Hilary L. Link, is appointed and inaugurated. Construction crews swarm over historic Bentley Hall, which is in the midst of a $14 million renovation that will showcase the building for its third century as Allegheny’s most iconic building. The College opens a new innovation center in the Doane Hall of Art that will foster all manner of entrepreneurial and creative endeavors. The Office of College Relations offers a recap of events and milestones from 2019 “yonder on the hill.”
As students return for the spring semester, the Allegheny College Board of Trustees unanimously elects Hilary L. Link, dean of Temple University Rome, as Allegheny’s 22nd president. Link assumes the presidency on July 1, 2019. The board’s vote follows the unanimous recommendation of Link by the Presidential Search Committee, which conducted a national search for a successor to James H. Mullen, Jr., who became president emeritus after 11 years of service to the College.
“I am deeply honored to have been selected to succeed President Mullen as Allegheny College’s next leader,” Link said. “I look forward to working with Allegheny’s outstanding faculty, staff, students and alumni as together we honor the college’s history and advance the promise of its future. I am inspired by Allegheny’s innovative and interdisciplinary approach to the liberal arts, and by the spirit of innovation, access and dialogue exemplified throughout the Allegheny community. I am thrilled to be joining this dynamic time at the college, as it continues to harness its collective energy to adapt to the changing environment in higher education and effect global change as well.”
An Allegheny faculty-student team earns regional news coverage by helping develop underwater robots to perform lake research. Computer Science Professor Janyl Jumadinova and Elisia Wright ’21 designed and built research robots that have the capability to take waterproof sensors underwater for several hours at a time and transmit a bounty of data. In May, Jumadinova and Wright go on to present their project on Capitol Hill at an event sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research.
The performance arena in the David V. Wise Sport & Fitness Center is renamed in honor of President James H. Mullen, Jr., in recognition of his service to the College. The announcement is made in a ceremony before a Gator men’s basketball game — an upset victory over No. 14 Wabash.
The Peace Corps announces that Allegheny College ranked No. 9 among small schools on the agency’s list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities in 2019. There are 12 Allegheny alumni currently volunteering in countries around the world. This is the first year since 2016 that Allegheny has ranked among the top 25 small schools.
Two teams of Allegheny College students tie for first place at the annual Zingale Big Idea Competition, a funding presentation contest sponsored by the College’s Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics, and supported by Lance Zingale ’77 and Burton D. Morgan Foundation. Student teams from Allegheny, Grove City College, James Madison University and Westminster College presented concepts in three areas: for-profit business, non-profit business and hybrid social venture.
This year’s winners: First Place (Tie). Natalia Buczek and Christopher Miller with their Aid Memoir, a communication app and website for patients with verbal and memory impairments and their caregivers. Christian Walker developed animatr, a streetwear company that changes the negative narrative surrounding fans of Japanese art/animation.
Allegheny College honors 388 graduates and presented honorary degrees to three distinguished scholars at Commencement ceremonies held on Bicentennial Plaza on a spectacular spring afternoon. Honorary doctorates of humane letters were conferred on the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, a 1972 Allegheny graduate; Dr. David Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU); and Dr. Armendia Dixon of Meadville.
A national organization certifies that produce coming from Allegheny College’s Carrden garden is grown without pesticides and herbicides and meets all organic agriculture standards. The Carrden and all its tasty produce sprouting near Carr Hall is now Certified Naturally Grown. A Saegertown-area certified organic farmer inspected the garden and its surroundings and confirmed its conformity to the national guidelines, said Kerstin Ams, Allegheny’s garden manager.
The Allegheny College Research Seminar Series (ACRoSS) begins its 10th year of serving as an interdisciplinary forum for the presentation of summer research projects developed by Allegheny students and faculty. At each weekly meeting, students present short overviews of their specific summer research projects to an audience of campus community members.
Hilary L. Link, Ph.D., officially begins work as Allegheny’s 22nd president. Link is the first woman to hold the office at Allegheny in the College’s 204-year history.
Allegheny welcomes the Class of 2023 and their families at its academic convocation and matriculation ceremony in Raymond P. Shafer Auditorium. New students represent 370 high schools, 41 states and 26 different countries, and 31 percent of the class are first-generation college students. Approximately two-thirds of the incoming class graduated in the top 25 percent of their high school class, with an average GPA of 3.53. In addition, 57 percent of the class participated in some form of civic engagement in high school.
The College also opens the Allegheny Lab for Innovation & Creativity (ALIC) in the Doane Hall of Art. The lab is a community-wide resource for students, staff and faculty to see their ideas move from idea to prototype. It has staff and on-site faculty here to help with any project. The lab can facilitate 3D printing, CNC machining, laser cutting, app development, photo editing, video editing, sound editing, graphic design, CAD, GIS, game design, visualization, robotics projects and much more.
U.S. News & World Report names Allegheny College one of the top 100 national liberal arts colleges in the U.S. — and one of the top 20 for best undergraduate teaching. In annual rankings released, U.S. News & World Report also recognized Allegheny among a select group of schools with stellar examples of first-year experiences, undergraduate research/creative projects, and senior capstone experiences. Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, every Allegheny student completes the required Senior Project, a significant piece of original scholarly work with a creative, analytical or experimental focus.
Also in September, the Allegheny field hockey team records the first victory in program history, decisively defeating Ferrum College of Virginia, 4-0.
With students, faculty, staff, alumni and distinguished guests from across the country filling a blue-and-gold-adorned Raymond P. Shafer Auditorium, Hilary L. Link, Ph.D., is inaugurated on Friday, Oct. 18, as the 22nd president of Allegheny College. “To me, being secure enough in your knowledge base, beliefs and approach to the world and yet flexible enough and humble enough and respectful enough to try to understand someone else’s perspective, is what a true interdisciplinary liberal arts education can and should do,” Link told the audience. “That is, in great part, why Allegheny matters more than ever in today’s national higher-education landscape.”
The day after the inauguration, Allegheny and community volunteers joined forces to work on more than 80 service projects in Meadville and Crawford County during the 26th annual Make a Difference Day on Saturday, Oct. 19. 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 College.
Also in October, the College is included among the best liberal arts colleges in the United States in the 2020 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education U.S. College Rankings. Allegheny ranked No. 60 among all liberal arts colleges in the nation, and in the top 20 percent overall among all the schools, colleges and universities identified in the publication’s annual student-focused rankings.
Allegheny proudly recognizes the first-generation students, faculty and staff on campus by participating in the National First Generation College Celebration in November. Among other initiatives and events, Allegheny hosted a first-generation college student conference, which included workshops and a keynote presentation by Dr. Eve Hudson.
The College celebrates as 12 students receive awards from the prestigious Gilman International Scholarship program to help pay for their study away experiences in 2020. It is the largest number of recipients in one year in Allegheny’s history. The scholarships will support Experiential Learning trips, semesters abroad and summer internships, said Patrick Jackson, director of fellowship advising at Allegheny. “I think that the secret is telling honest, compelling stories about why students want to study abroad and what they hope to gain from the experience,” said Jackson.
The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics hosts its inaugural Financial Literacy Challenge, with 16 teams of Allegheny students presenting personal financial budgets and investing plans to a panel of judges with extensive experience in the financial industry. The winning teams together received $5,000 in prizes and trophies. The competition attracted students with majors in a variety of fields, including economics, English, environmental science, history, international studies, psychology and studio art.