In his annual state of the college address on Wednesday, President Rudolph F. Crew painted a picture of an institution making great strides in academics and other measurable attainments, as well as in practicing empathy.
â€œWe are becoming more mindful of what it means to do this work,â€ said Dr. Crew, addressing the College community in Founders. It was his fifth such address.
Declaring that we â€œlive in a time of great turbulence,â€ Dr. Crew asked the community to stay true to its own values. He offered a moment of silence for community members who have passed away and he expressed sympathy for victims of the recent hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Switching to a more upbeat mode, the president noted that MEC awarded 204 more degrees this year than in the previous academic year. Fall, 2017 freshman enrollment was up by four percent and fewer first-time freshmen needed to enroll in developmental courses to become college-ready. The work of college readiness has to start earlier, Dr. Crew said, which is why the Pipeline program is so important.
The Pipeline Program, one of Dr. Crewâ€™s key initiatives, is a holistic approach to breaking the link between poverty and education outcomes. It serves students, parents and educators in grades kindergarten through 12 and into career success.Â Parents are taught how to support their children; students receive academic and social enrichment and earn college credit; educators learn best practices.
â€œPipeline grows their confidence in how they see themselves as learners,â€ Dr. Crew said of Pipeline students.Â Too many students fall behind early, he said, and end up in trouble or in prison.
The Pipeline Programâ€™s â€œEarly College/Dual Creditâ€ program enrolled over 1700 unique students and represented $1.5 million in tuition savings, he noted.
Among other notable landmarks mentioned by Dr. Crew:
- The new Honors Program enrolled 18 students.
- The new School of Education opened its doors, with the promise of shifting the paradigm on urban education.
- Online offerings increased; there was growth in the B.S. in Financial Economics; and a Master degree in Computational Science was developed.
- In the last two fiscal years, MEC received nearly $24 million in grant money and $10 million in grant money for faculty/student research.
- Faculty and staff completed over 350 publications, presentations and exhibitions.
The following Monday, Oct. 2, Dr. Crew made his annual address to the freshman class.Â The event in Founders included the Student Government Association (SGA) Inauguration Ceremony. Nicole Berry, the Director of the Freshman Year Class also brought greetings.
â€œYour vision of what you want to do with your life is your roadmap,â€ Dr Crew told the assembled freshmen.Â Everyone has a purpose, he said, and promised that the College will offer opportunities to discover their passion through research projects, study abroad and other avenues.
â€œIf you marry purpose with passion youâ€™ll have a real meaningful life,â€ Dr. Crew said. He also admonished them to never quit and to treat each other with kindness and respect.
In a tearful speech, the 2017-2018 SGA president Asha Edwards-Newton pledged her support to the class.
â€œI will be that diehard fighter for you,â€ Ms. Edwards-Newton said.