February 2019

A message from
Mark Campbell ’82
Chair, Board of Trustees

February 20, 2019

Dear Members of the Allegheny College Community,

The February Board of Trustees Meeting was held amidst the recent polar vortex where wind chills plummeted to minus 35 degrees. The College made the decision to close normal operations on Wednesday and Thursday, January 30 and 31, due to safety concerns. Despite severe outside temperatures, the board meeting featured surprises that warmed our hearts, established new traditions, showcased space and expansion of facilities, and introduced a new chapter in Allegheny’s esteemed history.

Welcoming Dr. Hilary Link

I shared with the board highlights of President-elect Hilary Link’s visit to Allegheny on Tuesday, January 22. The community celebrated and welcomed Dr. Link, her spouse, Jeff, and their oldest son, Jason, in Ford Memorial Chapel. The celebration was followed by a reception from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Tippie Alumni Center. Dr. Link will assume the presidency on July 1, 2019, serving as our 22nd president and succeeding President Mullen upon his retirement after 11 years of distinguished service to our College. It was a pleasure to be on campus for this historic occasion to welcome Dr. Link and her family.

During her visit, Dr. Link also met with media representatives, and I’m pleased to share the following videos from the news conference with her perspectives on:

  • The enduring value of a liberal arts education
  • Joining the Meadville community
  • The importance of local and global partnerships
  • Being the first woman to hold the College’s highest office

Dedication of the Renamed Wise Center Arena

Family, friends, trustees, staff, administrators, and students alike gathered before the men’s basketball game tipped off on Friday, February 1, to honor President Mullen for his dedication to athletics, his deep connections with students, his service to Allegheny, and most of all, his Gator pride. This surprise celebration was capped off with the renaming of the David V. Wise Center Performance Arena to the James H. Mullen, Jr. Arena at the David V. Wise Center.

Under the guise of building attendance, athletics promoted a “White out the Wise Center as the Gators take on Wabash” event on February 1. The arena was filled with fans sporting white T-shirts with a specially designed logo featuring “Jim’s Gym” and the words to the Allegheny fight song. A special thanks to Allegheny music faculty Lowell Hepler and Ron Stitt and the students who joined together to practice and form a pep band for the celebration. Professor Stitt even wrote a new arrangement of the Allegheny fight song, which was copyrighted in 1924. It was a joyous occasion — and the “Mullen Magic” even helped spur the Gators to an upset win over No. 14 Wabash. Forever A Gator!

Grand Re-Opening of the IDEAS Center

Board members also had the opportunity to stop into the IDEAS Center, meet with Kristin Dukes, Dean for Institutional Diversity, justin adkins, Associate Dean and Director of the IDEAS Center, and Angelica Perez-Johnston, Associate Director of the IDEAS Center, and learn about the expansion of the center. Trustees were given a tour and an overview of the new office space that will primarily be used for group meetings and a student study area.

Enrollment Update

The board received an Enrollment Update from Senior Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions Cornell LeSane. The enrollment team experienced a strong fall recruitment cycle with a rise in the number of high schools visited and an increase in visitors on campus. Aiming to continue attracting more national interest in the College, we hosted over 30 high school counselors on campus. As we transition into the spring, we will host two additional counselor programs on campus. It’s early, but while there is a decline in applications overall, we witnessed an increase in applications under the early decision option and are running ahead in deposits.

Campus Master Plan Update

Executive Vice President Eileen Petula and architects MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni presented a progress update on the Campus Master Plan. The CMP process is progressing on schedule. A detailed report on the CMP was shared and included a narrative summary of the Campus Master Plan findings with sections on: Academics, Residence Halls, Administrative, Athletics, Landscape and Parking, and Sustainability. The CMP also features campus maps showing a visual “footprint” of both the current use of buildings and the pathways for potential use.

The board continues to be deeply grateful for the valuable groundwork that has been laid during the past several years to secure Allegheny’s future and looks forward to our collective ongoing work with you.


Mark Campbell ’82
Chair, Board of Trustees