Greetings to the Herd on the Hill,
As summer progresses, I am hopeful that all are enjoying their time with family and friends and resting up before a great semester starts in just a couple of months. For now, I wanted to send along some updates for you as so much is going on in many divisions that I realize it is important to share:
- Strategic Plan: Cabinet has taken the feedback from faculty and staff and students, to continue work on our five-year strategic plan. We will have a draft product to show all for review, and comment by the end of the summer. It will then get kicked around by the Board of Trustees, and then back to us to share with the community, have focus groups to review and comment, and then seek to complete by the end of the fall semester. The goal will be to have it adopted by the January Board meetings. Again, our theme, Embracing Greatness, revolved around our collective vision of Regional, and then National, Prominence.
- Master Plan: Contemporaneously with the Strategic Planning process, Bob Lavigne, VP for Operations, has been leading the charge on our new master plan for the community. We just selected SASAKI to do the plan, and they will be reaching out to faculty, staff, and students to garner thoughts, suggestions, and insights to incorporate into the plan. This effort is an extension of our plans for buildings, new dorms, campus beautification, etc. and is an exciting time in the college’s history. The Master Plan will be in place for longer than our Strategic Plan, so this can be really fun for all to participate in.
- Ongoing Projects: There are a ton of projects going on this summer – approximately 30 taking place. There will be a new Campus Ministry at Nichols in our updated All Faiths Chapel; Lombard will be almost new with the several added components to the student dining facility; The Starbucks at Davis Café will be completed and be fully outfitted; the Library will be exceptional with new furniture, and the ACES (Academic Center for Excellence & Support) team inside as well as the Laptop Central help desk, Townhomes will break ground in August/Early September when students return; BAZZIE’s (formerly Jazzman’s (that was a Sodexo name/brand)) will open again as a tea/protein stop for the students and will be a hub for our commuter students during the day as well, a kitchen has been installed in Budleigh Hall, and so many other improvements are happening all over campus. There is truly A LOT going on in construction and I remain grateful to our Facilities team for all they do to make this a special place for all of us to study, work, and live.
- Calendar updates:
August 26- “Opening Day” for the Class of 2026
August 27-28– Returning Students Move- In
August 31- Convocation
September 9- Fireworks at Nichols -“Friday Night Lights” Nichols vs. Dean Football Game – Honoring the Towns of Dudley, Webster, and Oxford
September 22 (tentative)– Fall Art Show Opening
October 1- Homecoming
October 15- Friends and Family (Parent’s) Weekend
October 28-31- Pumpkinfest Weekend
November 6-9- AACSB Site Evaluation Team Visit
December 1- “Light Up the Hill”- Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting
As you can see, a lot going on and a lot of activities to look forward to on campus this Fall. There will be more info to follow as new events and activities get solidified.
I look forward to welcoming you all back to the Hill in August!
Go Books. Go Bison.