Over the past 10 years, the College of Mount Saint Vincent has strategically leveraged its historic strengths to build a student body that is both its largest and among the most academically gifted in the school’s more than 100 year history.
The outcome of this ongoing effort to maintain academic excellence is a tremendously accomplished and talented freshman class.
We spoke with senior administrators Dr. Guy Lometti, Provost and Dean of Faculty; Dr. Dianna Dale, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students; and Tim Nash, Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, as well as members of the freshman class to discuss what this means for the College.
“There’s definitely been recognition among the professors here at the College that this current student body is among the most intellectually engaged in our history,” says Dr. Dianna Dale.
Dr. Dianna Dale
Indeed, Dr. Dale’s words are validation for those working in Admissions and elsewhere at the College, who have so keenly focused their efforts on building upon the school’s strong foundation of academic excellence.
According to Dean Tim Nash, the Mount has employed a targeted recruitment strategy to attract a top-notch pool of students, which involves reaching out to a wider geographic area and better communicating the College’s strengths, including its strong academic programs and outstanding internship opportunities.
“Our admission counselors frequently visit high schools on Long Island and New Jersey, as well as Westchester and Rockland Counties, and are doing a significant amount of follow-up in these areas, in order to pull in more of the top performing high school students,” he says.
The accomplishments of the freshman class are indicative of steady progressmade towards the realization of the Mount’s 10-year strategic plan, says Provost Dr. Guy Lometti.
“In order to continue to best serve our students, by providing them with an excellent, well-rounded liberal arts education, the College has set forth several strategic goals,” he says. “First and foremost, the College aims to grow, and that growth must be accompanied by sustainable excellence. This year’s freshman class is indisputable evidence that we are on target to achieve this goal.”
To continue to attract high-achieving students, the Mount has continuously updated its campus and facilities, in order to provide amenities that match the caliber of its faculty and student body.
This fall, the new Men’s Wrestling Team will be housed in a renovated wrestling room. The College is also adding two professional-quality dance studios, the first step towards adding a dance minor.
Plans are in the works to add a sculpture studio to Maryvale Hall, which lays the groundwork to reinstate the Mount’s fine arts major. Spellman cafeteria will be completely gutted during summer 2012, and replaced with a brand-new facility, featuring expanded dining options.Cahill Lounge will be transformed into Cahill Theater, the College’s first black-box theater, which will be home to Mount thespians, as well as the professional theater company, Red Monkey Theater Group.
These efforts have attracted an incoming freshman class that has a median SAT score of 1030 and a cumulative high school G.P.A. of 85 percent. For fall 2011, the Mount received 3,323 applicants and enrolled 438 students, an all-time record.
This diverse group of freshman includes several National Honor Society members, as well as a host of students who are passionately interested in community service, says Dean Nash.
Rodcliff Wint '15
As class president, he holds a seat on the College’s Executive Council, and is a founding member of the Family Multicultural Awareness Organization. He is also amember of the College’s food services committee.
For Rodcliff, being an active member of the campus community is what college is all about.
“My brother told me that (being active is) the best route to go, because it opens up many avenues that help make the most out of the college experience, which is really what drove me to become so involved,” he says.
And Rodcliff is not alone. In fact, this year’s freshman class is comprised of numerous bright, ambitious students who’ve set the bar of excellence incredibly high.
Todd Gable '15
“I guess for me, I really just want to make the Mount as great a place as possible,” he says. “It has such a wonderful atmosphere and is an incredible school with a lot of opportunities. I’m trying to do my part in making it even better.”
The Warwick, Rhode Island native chose the Mount after a chance encounter with recruiter Mike Donahue, and hasn’t looked back.
“I met Mike at a college fair during my senior year of high school and the way he presented everything about the College made me feel like I was home,”Todd says. “I felt welcomed here even though I hadn’t been to the campus yet.”
Rebecca Guzman '15
“I chose the Mount because my best friend was planning on going here for nursing and she told me to check it out, so I did and just loved it,” she says. “I liked the fact that it’s a small school with a tight community. I really love it here,” Rebecca says.
Rebecca is vice president of the freshman class, and is a member of theMedia Club, Casa Latina, and the Family Multicultural Awareness Club.
With a solid foundation of academic success to build upon, both Dr. Dale and Dean Nash are confident that the College of Mount Saint Vincent has a bright future ahead.
“We have a good plan in place and will continue to employ the same recruitment strategy that we have over the past couple of years, which has proven to be so effective,”Dean Nash says.