Drugovich Presents State of the College Address

October 9, 2009

Several hundred members of the Hartwick College community--students, faculty, and staff alike--converged on Lambros Arena on Thursday, October 8, 2009, as Hartwick College President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich delivered her State of the College address. It was the first known event of its kind on Oyaron Hill.

"I believe in you," Drugovich began. "I believe in this community and these individuals. We are here to develop a common understanding that will allow us to move boldly into our future, which is what I believe we need to do."

Drugovich highlighted some successes of the nearly complete 2008-09 year, including a sharpened focus on College priorities, student and faculty successes, external recognition of Hartwick's strengths, the College's position in taking the lead on important issues and doing "the right thing," and meeting several challenges.

"I would hold a Hartwick graduate up shoulder-to-shoulder with any undergraduate from any institution," she said. "Our faculty have achieved exceptionally in the classroom--you know that because you see the product of their work--but they have also excelled outside the classroom."

Drugovich outlined a number of financial challenges met as the College faced the reality of the global economic crisis. Noting that Hartwick saw a nearly 22 percent drop in its endowment, she reviewed the budgetary steps taken to continue to meet the needs of Hartwick's students, including financial need.

"We have to keep our promises," she said. "We will maintain the quality of our academic program."

Looking toward 2010, Drugovich presented a number of obstacles still before Hartwick, including student demographic shifts, changing regulations, calls for the transformation of higher education nationwide, and more.

Presenting a series of charts and graphs, she outlined projected shifts in College enrollment nationally and statewide, as well as increased need among those who do enroll.

"Thirty-five percent of the freshmen who enrolled this year had an average family income of $35,000 or less," she said. "They need our help more than ever."

Given the challenges, Drugovich asked, "What is a college to do? We need to think. We need to plan, and then we need to act. We can do this."

Drugovich noted that the Hartwick Board of Trustees did significant work to plan and guide the process during its recently concluded meetings, and added "celebrate" and "believe" to her list of what the College is to do.

"We're going to create our future," she said. "It is up to us to make it happen. I need you to believe, as I do, that these things are possible. I've seen what this community can do."

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum merges traditional liberal arts study, personalized teaching, and experiential learning approaches to emphasize Connecting the Classroom to the World. Add to that a wide range of off-campus internships, collaborative research, study-abroad opportunities, and a unique January Term, and Hartwick prepares students for the world ahead. Strong financial aid and scholarship programs keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030