Following each meeting of the board of trustees, the chair updates the Allegheny community
about the College's status and progress.

May 2020

A message from
Mary (Missy) Feeley ’78
Chair, Board of Trustees


May 4, 2020

Greetings from the Allegheny College Board of Trustees! I am very pleased to share an update on the board’s activities during the past few months. The board continues to be energized and inspired by the entire Allegheny community’s support for each other during the very challenging situation related to the coronavirus pandemic. You have shown again and again that we indeed, as a community, are Allegheny Strong.

During my first nine months as the board’s chair, I’ve participated in numerous planning sessions with trustees and campus community members, undertaking the seldom-seen work of aligning strategic objectives of the College with board leadership and presidential vision. Although the board has not been able to meet in person since we gathered in February, we have continued the work of building on Allegheny’s momentum in a complex environment for higher education and our world. These initiatives include increasing the national and international visibility of the College and a commitment to strengthening local and regional community engagement. The board will participate in our scheduled May meetings via videoconference, focusing on the College’s short- and long-term planning for the upcoming year and beyond.

I also wanted to take a moment to reflect on just a few of the many noteworthy achievements at the College recently.

In February, Second Nature honored Allegheny as the first college in Pennsylvania to receive the organization’s Carbon Neutral Campus Award. Allegheny is one of the first 10 higher education institutions in the United States achieve carbon neutrality, reflecting more than a decade of effort to enhance efficiency in operations, engage students in research and action, and build collaborations with partners. In addition, President Link was featured among 50 influential leaders commemorating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and calling for transformative action to protect the planet.

This spring, art professor Byron Rich worked in the Allegheny Lab for Innovation and Creativity to develop a prototype of protective face shields that were produced for area healthcare facilities in partnership with local manufacturers. The lab opened in the fall, providing a state-of-the-art educational environment where entrepreneurial, innovative, and creative endeavors can move from idea to prototype to product. The center includes a shared technology classroom featuring a computer lab as well as a fabrication facility with 3D printers, CNC machines, laser cutters, and motion capture equipment.

Although the Bentley Hall restoration project has been temporarily paused due to business closures in Pennsylvania, we are looking forward to the time when construction can safely resume. The project is a key priority in the Our Allegheny: Our Third Century Quest Campaign for endowment, annual, and capital support for the College. As of March 2020, the campaign has raised approximately $195.8 million — 98 percent of the campaign goal of $200 million. I am so grateful to all the alumni, parents, employees, and friends of the College who have stepped forward to contribute to the largest fundraising effort in Allegheny’s history. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to gather on campus to celebrate the campaign’s success — and, most importantly, recognize all who have generously supported it.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I congratulate the Class of 2020 for their resolve and resilience as they worked to complete their Allegheny education under very difficult circumstances. While we share our seniors’ disappointment that we could not celebrate their achievements on campus this spring, we are very excited to honor the College’s newest alumni at Commencement during Blue & Gold Weekend in October.

I look forward to sharing an update with the community again this summer. My fellow board members and I deeply appreciate the dedication to Allegheny that you have sustained.

With heartfelt thanks and Gator Pride,

Mary (Missy) Feeley ’78
Chair, Board of Trustees

May 2019

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


May 21, 2019

Dear Members of the Allegheny College Community,

The May Board of Trustees Meeting ushered in the excitement of Commencement in Allegheny’s 204th year, held under remarkably beautiful skies as we celebrated 388 graduates, honored President Mullen throughout the weekend, and recognized three extraordinary individuals as our honorary degree recipients for their outstanding contributions to society.

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. Dr. Warren, who delivered the Commencement address, will be retiring from the NAICU after 25 years, effective June 30, 2019.

Enrollment Update

Cornell LeSane, senior vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions, provided an update on the Class of 2023 to the board.  The enrollment team experienced a great year, having hit all goals set forth, in particular, exceeding the first-year target on May 1.  With the lowest admit rate since 2011, the College received over 5,000 applications. Understanding the importance of quality, the College enrolled another academically competitive class with metrics including GPA, rank in top 10% of class, and standardized test scores surpassing the previous year. Building on last year’s success, Allegheny’s incoming class reflects another strong and diverse class.

Campus Master Plan Update

The board accepted and adopted the final Campus Master Plan document developed under the leadership of the Board Task Force – Campus Master Plan/Infrastructure, Executive Vice President Eileen Petula, Director of Major Capital Projects Cliff Willis, members of the Campus Master Plan Committee, and architects MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni. The second allocation of the Campus Master Plan Capital Projects was also approved by the board for the following projects:

  • Special Event Center and Guest House
  • New Varsity Weight Room
  • Bentley Hall Expanded Scope (to include LEED and parking lot expansion)
  • President’s House Repairs and Renovation
  • Off-campus Housing Demolition

Trustee Task Force Updates

The Trustee Task Forces on National Visibility and Media, the Future of Fundraising, and Veterans Initiatives also provided updates on their activities. Trustee Gary Elliott ’72 shared that Allegheny must more tightly define its brand and value proposition and focus its communications on fewer key messages, and he laid out a strategic roadmap developed by the task force to accomplish these objectives. Trustee Sue Steven ’75 presented a new veterans admissions brochure and discussed next steps for digital visibility and outreach. Trustee Missy Feeley ’78 shared the significant role that technology can and must play in establishing a richer and more data-informed engagement with alumni.

Onward!

As we say our “goodbyes” to Jim, Mari, Franki and James Mullen, we know their legacy will live on in our hearts — perhaps the greatest legacy of all. As we welcome our 22nd president, Hilary Link, and her family to Meadville and to Allegheny, we do so with sincere warmth, excitement, and enthusiasm for all that has yet to be. (Dr. Link recently was a guest on “The Confluence,” a daily news show on Pittsburgh’s NPR affiliate, and I invite you to listen to the interview and learn more about her deep appreciation for the liberal arts and her excitement about joining our community.)

As we look forward to our plans for the summer and beyond, I thank you for your valuable contributions; it has been my distinct pleasure to work with all of you.

Sincerely,
Mark Campbell ’82

Chair, Board of Trustees

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.

Sincerely,

Mark Campbell ’82
Chair, Board of Trustees

November 2018

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


November 6, 2018

Dear Members of the Allegheny College Community,

Last June, I introduced “Message from the Board Chair,” a new dispatch designed to keep the Allegheny community up-to-date following our Board of Trustee meetings. I felt it would be helpful after each of our board meetings to share highlights of board activities.

Bentley Hall

The board most recently met October 11–13 and enjoyed a ceremony celebrating the beginning of the historic renovation of Bentley Hall. President Mullen, Christine Scott Nelson ’73, chair of the Fund for Bentley Hall, and other distinguished guests looked on as Henry and Patricia Bush Tippie ’56 broke a ceremonial wall — a symbolic event signifying the start of the renovation project. I am delighted to share a preview of the Bentley Hall renovation project along with recent photos and a video of the event.

It was a pleasure to be on campus for this historic occasion and to be able to interact with students throughout the weekend and learn about their accomplishments and aspirations. Board members had the opportunity to have lunch with students on Thursday and enjoyed meeting students at a festive dinner following the Bentley Hall renovation celebration on Friday. Professor Emeritus and College Historian Jonathan Helmreich H’18 spoke eloquently on “Reflections on Initiation of Bentley Hall Renovations,” and Jonathan “Jed” Miller ’69 was honored for his dedicated service to the College through his aesthetic design contributions across campus — recently, a new donor recognition wall designed by Jed was installed in the Tippie Alumni Center. In addition, Cliff Willis was recognized for his tireless commitment to Bentley through the years and detailed knowledge of the building, and Pat and Henry Tippie were honored for their continued generosity and love of Allegheny.

New Trustees

We welcomed two alumni as new trustees of the College. Thomas J. Sadvary ’75 is the former chief executive officer of HonorHealth, where he was instrumental in leading the creation of a $2 billion nonprofit organization through the affiliation of Scottsdale Healthcare and John C. Lincoln Health Network in 2013. He retired in 2017 but continues to serve as an advisor to HonorHealth. Michael R. Young ’78 is a partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York City. He is chair of the firm’s Securities Litigation Practice Group and advises and defends boards of directors, audit committees, accounting firms, public companies, and company officers on issues of corporate governance and financial reporting.

Greek Life

The board received an update on Greek Life from Brittany Martin, assistant director of student leadership and involvement. The update included highlights on overall participation, academics, and philanthropy. The board also reviewed a request for a return to campus by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and approved a set of conditions that could allow their return.

Allegheny Strategic Action Plan

The Allegheny Strategic Action Plan continues to gain momentum from campus improvements to the introduction of our new integrative informatics major to the launch of our new business major last December. We also introduced a new summer academy for high school students this past summer, and it will be offered again in 2019. Our new summer Orientation programs from July through August were highly successful, with more than 450 students participating throughout the summer. We are energized by the progress of the implementation of the Allegheny Strategic Action Plan and thank every member of the community for their many contributions to this historic strategic planning effort to guide Allegheny’s future. As we advance the plan’s priorities, we will make Allegheny even stronger and more distinctive.

Enrollment Update

The board received an Enrollment Update from Senior Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions Cornell LeSane, who reported that students hail from 346 high schools, 32 states, and 36 different countries. The top nine states from which enrolled students originate are Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, California, Massachusetts, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, and Texas. More than one-third of the class are first-generation college students. Twenty-eight percent of incoming students identify as students of color — matching a 2016–17 record for the most diverse incoming class for the second consecutive year. And six percent are international students.

I hope you are as excited as I am for all that lies ahead for Allegheny. Is it my absolute pleasure to work with you, and I thank you for your continued dedication and commitment to our College.

Sincerely,

Mark Campbell ’82
Chair, Board of Trustees

June 2018

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


June 11, 2018

Dear Members of the Allegheny Community:

Greetings fellow Gators. As chair of Allegheny’s Board of Trustees, I thought it would be helpful after each of our board meetings to provide an update following our meetings. There’s a lot of wonderful things happening on campus and I thought you might enjoy learning more.

Most recently the Board met during Commencement Weekend, May 11–12. It was a pleasure to be on campus during such an exciting time, and I was continually impressed as I spoke with students throughout the weekend about their accomplishments at Allegheny and their plans after graduation.

We are at a time of tremendous positive momentum for our College, and I am pleased to share information on these key initiatives and events:

Allegheny Strategic Action Plan

We are energized by the progress of the implementation of the Allegheny Strategic Action Plan, which was developed by members of the Allegheny community and unanimously endorsed by the Board of Trustees at our October 2017 meeting. The plan represents a bold vision for Allegheny’s future that honors the College’s traditions and continues to strengthen our special place in American higher education. I encourage you to read President Mullen’s introduction of the plan in the spring 2018 issue of Allegheny magazine.

In addition to longer-term goals, ASAP includes several near-term campus improvement projects taking place this summer to support the student experience. These projects include technology upgrades to classrooms, renovations to the Henderson Campus Center to provide centralized space for offices in the Division of Student Life, new kitchenettes and lounge enhancements in several residence halls, and the replacement of athletic and recreation courts in the main level of the David V. Wise Sport & Fitness Center.

We look forward to continuing to share information about ASAP through updates following the Board of Trustees meetings and future issues of Allegheny magazine.

Enrollment and Allegheny Bound Summer Orientation

Allegheny’s Class of 2022 will be among the most diverse in the College’s history. We received a record number of applications this year, and we will welcome students from 363 different high schools, 33 states, and 18 different countries. This summer, the College will welcome our incoming first-year and transfer students to the community through new Allegheny Bound Summer Orientation sessions in June and July. Summer Orientation is a two-day, one-night program designed to provide resources and information that will be particularly helpful during students’ first months on campus. Both students and families are invited to attend the Orientation program. With four Allegheny Bound sessions, and more than 100 current students conducting research with faculty, the campus is bustling with activity even before students return for the fall semester.

Presidential Search

As you may know, President James H. Mullen, Jr., will retire effective June 30, 2019. We are grateful to President Mullen for his leadership and service to Allegheny — and his continued work to advance the College during the final year of his tenure. The Board of Trustees, on behalf of the entire Allegheny community, now has the responsibility of identifying, recruiting, and hiring a new president. The Board has formed a Presidential Search Committee to nominate a successor to President Mullen. The search committee is representative of the broader community of the College and will lead the recruitment process, with assistance from Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, a nationally respected higher education executive search firm. We recently launched a Presidential Search website with more information, including a list of search members and an opportunity to share input through a survey. I encourage you to participate in this survey and to continue to check the website for updates on the search.

Commencement Weekend

The Board’s time on campus concluded with the Commencement ceremony on Saturday, when we celebrated more than 380 graduates in the Class of 2018. Heavy rain pounded on the Wise Center roof as the ceremony began — but based on the applause and cheers I heard as students walked across the stage and received their diplomas, the enthusiasm of graduates and their families certainly was not dampened by the weather.

In my remarks to the graduating class, I challenged Allegheny’s newest alumni to think not only about how they will use their liberal arts education as they begin their careers or graduate school, but also to consider this question: “Who will you help?” I am very grateful for the Allegheny community members — alumni, faculty, staff, my fellow trustees, and others — who are setting such a positive example of helping others for our students. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to our College.

Sincerely,

Mark Campbell ’82
Chair, Board of Trustees