The View from Here

with President Darren Reisberg

Hartwick College President Darren Reisberg in class talking with students

A lot has happened since I arrived in early August — much of which is built upon the strong foundation you know well.

We still have a broad and deep range of majors that generations of graduates have completed — the most popular including nursing, business administration, psychology, biology, and criminal justice. And in response to student and market interest, we are growing, adding new programs in cybersecurity, data analytics, digital marketing, game development, sports management, and web design. 

We still have strong athletic programs. In fact, almost a third of those enrolled are student-athletes. And they continue to have winning seasons. We had a banner fall with several playoff teams, including men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, field hockey and tennis — with the latter two winning their conferences and earning NCAA Division III tournament bids. 

We still give students unique career-focused experiences, offering direct access and tools to explore interests, build skills and make connections. This semester alone, with participation and financial support from generous alumni and friends, our students traveled on Career HOPS to New York City and Washington, D.C., networking at some of the nation’s largest companies, including AbbVie, Creative Artists Agency, Mastercard, the National Basketball Association, Baltimore Washington Financial and the National Association of Counties. Over spring break, a group headed to Silicon Valley — the ‘cradle of innovation’ — to better understand how technology and innovation are transforming our world.

We still offer extraordinary global exploration opportunities. After a two-year hiatus, we relaunched our J Term trips, with faculty and students exploring the Bahamas, the Czech Republic, Hawaii, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal and Senegal. Next January, J Term will include experiences in England, Iceland, Japan, Portugal, Rwanda, Scotland, South Africa and Spain. This signature program has been a Hartwick hallmark for decades and we are thrilled to restart it post-pandemic. 

Throughout our history, we have been driven by an innovative spirit that has defined and sustained us. I assure you , that spirit is alive and well. The stories that follow clearly illustrate it. This spirit — one steeped in the lessons of our past — drives my vision for our future. It’s why I’m so confident that, with your assistance, that vision can be realized. This is what I see for Hartwick and how you can help. 

First, Hartwick will continue to intentionally attract a diverse student body from every background and provide them with an inclusive environment so they feel they belong and can succeed — not just at the College but in life. Today, Hartwick is more diverse than ever. Over 30% of our students are of color, 35% are classified as Pell Grant eligible based on income and over 25% are first-generation college students. In fact, US News & World Report ranked Hartwick 11th in the nation for its positive effect on social mobility. We can all be proud of these distinctions. 

Through the Hartland Promise, a new initiative launched in November, Hartwick will ensure that rural students from Central NY — certainly part of the diversity I’ve emphasized — have a high-quality, affordable education option near home, where they are most likely to thrive, graduate and contribute to the region’s economic vitality. 

Second, Hartwick will still transform students’ lives once they join our community. FlightPath, our unique approach to the educational experience, is an important element of this transformation and is brought to life by the systems and people who provide our students with wraparound academic, social, and personal support. Through the tight connection of academics, career development and real-world experiences, FlightPath connects the Hartwick education to lifelong success and fulfillment. 

Third, Hartwick’s ability to deliver academic excellence will endure. Our offerings continue to grow through the recruitment and retention of exceptional faculty like the ones you remember well, along with the development of meaningful research and engagement opportunities. 

Fourth, Hartwick will continue to be a vibrant living-learning community — a place where students, scholars and staff ensure that learning takes place across campus and beyond through relationships, athletics, creative opportunities, student organizations, special events, and service to others. 

And, fifth, Hartwick will always be about innovation and engagement. We are building for the future by breaking down barriers — intellectually and socially, and between campus and our regional partners — making way for innovation in every field at every level. 

So, how can you help? 

Hartwick is not just a four-year experience but a lifelong membership in a community where our alumni can tap the College’s learning, and our students and faculty benefit from the extraordinary network of alumni and friends worldwide. 

ENGAGE – attend events across the country. Come back for TrueBlue Weekend, or help us with regional events. 

MENTOR – it’s invaluable for our alumni and friends to connect students to the real world. Help them navigate career possibilities and leverage their strengths by signing up for TrueBlue Connect, our online career networking tool that introduces students to accomplished alumni. HOST – offer student opportunities in your workplace. Provide internships, job shadowing, or career exploration visits. 

INVEST IN OUR FUTURE – small liberal arts colleges, like Hartwick, are facing steep challenges. Your support will continue our legacy and make these exceptional experiences possible for tomorrow’s leaders. 

As I come up on my first anniversary, I am incredibly proud of our faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends and supporters of this great College. Thank you for supporting the meaningful work we do — and will continue to do — on Oyaron Hill.

April 28, 2023

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