Campus Forum

On Thursday, Mar. 25 at 11:00 a.m., President Barbara Mistick welcomed faculty, staff, alumni, students and other members of the community to the all-campus forum in Thompson Hall to tell them about the college’s past year and its future.

President Mistick began with a warm welcome to new members of the community, highlighting new people around campus.

The first major area of conversation involved enrollment updates for incoming students. For next year, the admissions office has a goal of 916 new students: 424 traditional students, 207 graduate students and 285 adult degree students. This total figure is up 111 from this year’s 805 total—meaning a goal of nearly 114% current enrollment. By 2018, 1240 students is the current projection.

The budget for the next years will need to be adjusted to account for the influx of new students. For next year, deferred maintenance will be decreased to one million dollars.

The next major point for President Mistick’s address was the Wilson Today Plan. The Wilson Today Plan, a guiding mission committed to the continued success of the institution, involves many facets, including affordability, academics, infrastructure, coeducation and marketing. Important announcements included Wilson’s dual enrollment with Greencastle-Antrim school district, the VMT Equi-Assist Concentration thanks to a sizable gift of over $500,000 from donor Margaret Duprey and a promise to match donations for the Wilson Fund up to $300,000 from Marguerite Brooks Lenfest ’55.

With ongoing construction on campus, infrastructure was an important topic. Mistick stressed the school’s most recent improvements: changes and updates in the Jenson Dining Hall, which included new flooring and updated aesthetics, and to the Gannet Memorial Field House, which involved new locker rooms, meeting rooms and ADA compliance. According to an enthusiastic President Mistick, library construction remains on-target for completion by the end of the fall.

Declaring breaking news, Mistick announced a 2.3 million dollar gift from Sue Cooley ’44 to contribute to the library construction project. This generous donation brings the project up to 98% of its fundraising goal of 11.8 million dollars. Only about $250,000 remain to be fundraised for the cause.

Progress on Wilson’s strategic goals followed next. Distinctive programs, enhanced campus activities, long-term financial stability and increased public visibility were key areas of Mistick’s discussion.

Going forward, Mistick accentuated Wilson’s new mantra: “One Team, One Goal.” Effective communication, collaboration and sense of shared responsibility are needed for the success of the institution.

The upcoming challenges for the May board include a fiscal year budget for 2016, the potential of a Rosencrantz capitol project to restore the dorm hall, the new equi-assist concentration, a strategic plan for the bridge on campus and the approval of May grades for graduation.

To conclude the assembly, President Mistick announced a raffle for members of the audience. In good fun, five cabinet members donated their parking spaces by the fitness center for the raffle. This light-hearted gesture showed that the administration is aware of the campus’s current parking issues, and that they are humble enough to offer help to a lucky few. In an unexpected twist, the majority of prize-winners offered to sell their tickets to produce proceeds for the Wilson fund. With thanks to the generous members of the audience, several hundred dollars were raised in support of ongoing projects.

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