Interim Siena College president F. Edward Coughlin welcomed freshmen to campus during move-in day at the end of August.
Students looking for an exceptional education can’t go wrong at St. Bonaventure University or Siena College, according to the 2015 statistics from U.S. News and World Report. Both Province-sponsored institutions ranked on the site’s list of best colleges.
St. Bonaventure University is a leader in getting a good education for a great price. The Western New York school was recently named the best value in New York State and the third best value in the North, according to the report. Nearly 76 percent of SBU students receive some form of need-based grant, and 95 percent are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation.
Siena College was named to the top tier of liberal arts colleges in the nation, improving its ranking from 126 to 113. The number of Siena freshmen in the top 10 percent of their class also increased, and the college’s six-year graduation rate improved from 73 to 80 percent.
Both campuses began their academic years with changes to personnel and facilities.
Collaboration and Service
St. Bonaventure University and Hilbert College continue to discuss collaboration. In late August, the Franciscan schools announced the appointment of Teresa O’Rourke as executive director of the strategic alliance study being conducted by the schools to determine if they should expand their collaboration in academic programs, facilities and operational practices. The feasibility study began in October 2013. St. Bonaventure has run a graduate studies center on Hilbert’s campus, 60 miles north of Allegany, for more than 20 years.
College officials stressed that O’Rourke’s appointment does not mean the schools have decided to fully integrate. Rather, O’Rourke will oversee responsibilities currently managed by the schools’ leaders, easing the increased workload created by the alliance study. O’Rourke’s credentials were included in a news release posted on St. Bonaventure University’s website.
Meanwhile, St. Bonaventure University friars, staff and students continue to dedicate themselves to serving others. The class of 2017 is challenging members of the SBU community to “go bald for bucks” and raise money for campus research. Participants in the “Goin’ Bald for Bucks” campaign promise to shave their heads if a certain amount of money is raised.
Francis Di Spigno, OFM, executive director of university ministries, has accepted the challenge in memory of a cousin who recently died from cancer. If $25,000 is raised, the friar will take a pair of clippers to his full head of hair.
“I don’t know anyone who has not been affected by cancer, whether they’ve had cancer or they know a loved one who has succumbed to cancer,” said Francis, who appeared in a video promoting the campaign.
In other news, the university is continuing to expand academic programs and improve facilities. The school announced a new major in industrial management, to begin in fall 2015, and recently finished construction on a new athletic field complex.
New Faces, New Spaces
At Siena College, the interim president F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, welcomed new students to campus on Aug. 28, move-in day.
“I am excited to extend Franciscan hospitality to the newest members of the Siena College community,” Ed said in an Aug. 29 news release. “Since this is also my first semester at Siena, I can relate to the enthusiasm and also the uncertainty they may be feeling, but once we settle in, I am confident that we will have a successful academic year.”
He continued: “This is an exciting time for our new students. They will have the opportunity to forge lifelong friendships and open their minds, and they’ll have the support of the entire Siena community.”
In mid-September, religious leaders from five different faiths — Catholicism, Judaism, Protestantism, Islam and Buddhism — came together Sept. 15 to dedicate Siena’s new Damietta Cross-Cultural Center and Interfaith Prayer Room in the Sarazen Student Union, which underwent extensive renovations this summer. Edward along with college chaplain Lawrence Anderson, OFM, participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“It’s part of the Franciscan tradition for different faiths to be able to grow and learn together while respecting each other’s traditions,” said Larry in a Sept.15 news release. “This will be a wonderful place for everyone to worship in the way they feel comfortable.”
More news about the Province-sponsored schools can be found on their websites and social media accounts.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.