Centre College trustees celebrate bicentennial at 2019 winter meeting
The Centre College Board of Trustees had plenty to celebrate at its winter meeting, held January 25-26 in Louisville. Not only was the fundraising goal of the $200 million Third Century Campaign exceeded at final count on December 31, eclipsing $210 million, but the trustees also officially recognized the start of Centre’s year-long bicentennial anniversary.
Additional major topics of discussion included proposed new campus initiatives regarding creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship; updates on several campus construction projects totaling approximately $30 million; and faculty efforts to review the College’s general education curriculum.
Special guests for the meeting’s plenary session included Lou Shipley, a lecturer in technological innovation, entrepreneurship and strategic management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and Michael Reed, senior vice president for inclusion and diversity at Bowdoin College.
Shipley is assisting with the College’s recent association with the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program and related initiatives, and Reed is serving as a consultant for Centre’s continuing efforts to strengthen diversity and inclusion.
Trustees also heard from Head Football Coach Andy Frye at their Friday luncheon, along with Centre seniors representing the four teams that won Southern Athletic Association (SAA) conference titles and advanced to NCAA postseason competition this past fall.
Student-athlete guests included All-American distance runner and National Steeplechase Champion Annie Rodenfels, quarterback and SAA Offensive Player of the Year Tanner Young, women’s soccer player Keeghan Francis and men’s soccer player Jacob Haddad.
Related, Centre Athletic Director Brad Fields reported that this was one of the most successful athletic campaigns for the seven teams that compete in the fall. Five conference titles, five NCAA post-season berths and two NCAA Sweet 16 appearances were achieved. As well, 50 student-athletes were named SAA all-conference, 19 were recognized as all-region, five earned SAA Player of the Year and six won All-American honors.
In other meeting activity, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Brian Cusato noted that the recently completed three-week CentreTerm in January involved 220 students studying abroad with 18 Centre faculty in 11 different countries.
Destinations included Belize, Cuba, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Thailand and Uganda. In addition, six students conducted internships in Mexico throughout the Yucatan Peninsula.
Andrea Abrams, Centre’s chief diversity officer, described the successful campus inclusion event called Building Bridges and Community Day held on November 1 that involved more than 1,400 students, faculty and staff. More recently, her office organized the College’s first-ever MLK, Jr. Day of Service, with volunteer activities at numerous sites throughout the Danville community.
Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement Shawn Lyons shared that a partner effort involved alumni in 17 cities across the nation, with volunteer service activities also in Cape Town, South Africa.
As part of the College’s commitment to create a culture of caring, Vice President for Human Resources & Administrative Services Kay Drake outlined numerous Title IX-related efforts focused on assuring that all members of the campus community are safe and feel protected. Drake serves as Centre’s Title IX coordinator.
And in terms of finances, CFO Brian Hutzley reported on Centre’s several current capital projects, including construction of a new residence hall still on track for completion by fall 2019. Additionally, a renovation and expansion project for Olin Hall, home of chemistry, mathematics and physics, is set to begin just after Commencement. He also said that despite recent market volatility, Centre’s endowment remains strong and is currently valued at $321.9 million.
Finally, trustees approved the creation of four new scholarships.
The Class of 1968 and Class of 1969 Scholarships, each established by their respective classes, will be awarded to qualified and deserving students. The Meredith Roberts Scholarship Fund, established by friends in her memory, will be awarded to qualified and deserving students, with a preference for young women. And the James W. Barton RICE Symposium Lecture Fund, established by Dr. John Barton ’79 in memory of his father and grandfather, who shared the same name, will provide funding for a distinguished guest lecturer in conjunction with the annual Research, Internship and Creative Endeavor (RICE) Symposium.
The Centre College Board of Trustees next meets on the historic, 200-year-old Danville campus for its spring meeting, scheduled for April 11-12.