Message from President McConnell

Instead of writing about one of the College’s Core Values this month in a separate post, I decided to do so in my monthly message. This month, my theme will be our core value of liberal arts education.

We define this core value as a “dedication to a liberal arts and sciences education that encourages intellectual curiosity and fosters each student’s ability to think creatively and analyze, synthesize, apply and communicate knowledge from many sources.” These are all skills which time and technology cannot rob in a fast-changing world economy.

Thus, the type of student we strive to develop through our liberal arts and sciences and business education is a well-rounded individual – someone who studies great works of literature, who also can outline a successful business plan as well as understand the theory and context shaping today’s political landscape.

We develop curious, lifelong learners who are more trained for the next new jobs not even here right now. Over time, our alumni’s degrees will continue to appreciate in value because the College’s educational experience enables our graduates to adjust to change more easily in life. In fact, Forbes Magazine is touting a liberal arts education as the golden ticket to success in the new economy – something we’ve known since the late 1700s.

Further, it’s wonderful to receive national recognition and exposure through a variety of university rankings for the high-quality education we provide to our students. For example, in August 2016, The Princeton Review named the College to its list of “The Best 381 Colleges” for the 14th consecutive year. The College also clinched the number 10 spot among all colleges and universities in the South in the 2017 edition of Best Colleges by US News & World Report. In the same publication, the College ranks fourth in the category of best public colleges in the region, and the College was named an “A+ School for B Students” among Southern regional universities.

These well-deserved national rankings affirm the College’s commitment to holistically educating and caring for our students and are directly correlated to our faculty and staff’s dedication in fostering our student-focused culture. While rankings do not necessarily showcase a university’s true value, it’s nice to see this continuing recognition of our excellent academic reputation.

As we move toward the College’s 250th anniversary in 2020, our educational experience will continue to be rooted in a commitment to maintaining a student-focused community that enables us to provide a strong foundation for intellectual exploration, learning and discovery in today’s fast-paced competitive world. While we have our eye on the future, we will always cherish our past and the scholarly educational approach that has defined us for more than two centuries.