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.


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.

Mark Campbell ’82

Chair, Board of Trustees