October 11, 2007
Lynn and I have now seen our fifth Homecoming at Culver-Stockton College, which just occurred last weekend. It was a complete triumph, even undaunted by the record heat. The lead column in yesterday's Megaphone
, our campus newspaper, written by Charlie Pedersen '08 captured the essence of it all: "I have to say, this past week was the best Homecoming I have seen...We had involvement, competition, and most of all, I think we had fun." The parade down Canton's 4th
Street and up Lewis was one of the longest in the memory of townsfolk, featuring a dozen marching bands. It was truly 76 trombones right here in River City. The return of 25 former chemistry majors to celebrate the 50-year connection of John Brodmann to the college was magical for all of us to witness. They had plenty of great stories to tell about a beloved professor and personality, someone who encouraged many of his students into brilliant careers.
We are experiencing a wonderfully busy fall on campus, though the grip of summer was only released yesterday (it was a good thing that we air-conditioned Wood Hall as one of our July projects -- now only two of our twelve residences or houses lack central climate control, Shannon and Ziegler). During the opening convocation a few weeks ago, we heard from NYU Professor Dalton Conley, the author of an acclaimed book titled Honky
, which was required reading for all new students and our faculty this summer. It tells Conley's true-life story of growing up white in the inner city projects of lower Manhattan. His remarks brought a personal dimension to the complex issues of American diversity that we will continue to address; it's the world our students already know and one they will surely be expected to understand. Since I am often asked, let me report that among the entering fall class, 12% of the population are
American-born students of color. This is not only a percentage proportionally reflecting our society's make-up, but it is also one that is stronger than at many private and public colleges.
For more news, please click www.culver.edu.
Remembering Bob Mathieson
The death of Bob Mathieson, professor emeritus of physics and computer science, saddened all of us all on the Hill this September. We held his funeral service on campus and, as you would expect, the chapel was packed with students and friends. The corps of professors emeriti served as honorary pallbearers. Bob was a learned and a learning man, always curious about how things in the natural and mechanical worlds actually worked. He served the college as a member of Culver-Stockton's faculty from
1963-2004 and met his wife Carol, then a new faculty member, while living on campus two doors apart, in the days when John and Jean Sperry also occupied one of the faculty cottages. Bob touched the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people in the C-SC community over those four decades, and we will miss him terribly.
Culver-Stockton Climbs in U.S. News & World Report
We're pleased to note that Culver-Stockton College earned the 37th spot in the top 50 of Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the Midwest in the 2008 edition of "America's Best Colleges" by U.S. News & World Report
. This is an 11-position jump in the rankings for Culver-Stockton since the 2007 list was released. Such a significant increase clearly indicates that the college is gaining in strength and reputation. Two of our category rankings are quite a bit higher than 37th and worthy of special mention. First, we are ranked 21st
for peer reputation, which means that we are beginning to create a buzz among other college educators and gaining attention for what is good about Culver-Stockton. Second, we rank 27th
for small class size (fewer than 20 students), which indicates how much we value paying attention to students and the quality of the educational experience we provide. There are those who do not consider these rankings to be of great importance, and I agree that it is just one rough measure, perhaps a slightly arbitrary one, of how we are doing. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that parents and their students value these rankings as indicators of educational quality and of the
long-term value of their investment in a college education. I am pleased that Culver-Stockton ranks among the best in the first tier of the Midwest.
2006-07 Giving Sets Seven-Year Record
The Culver-Stockton College Annual Report for 2007 has been mailed and it is, as you may already know, a piece of good news. Culver-Stockton College ended the recent Fiscal Year, 2006-07, with a balanced operating budget for the third year in a row and with the largest total funds contributed to the college in seven years. Nearly $3 million was donated to the college from July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2007, with more than $1.3 million given to the college's Education Fund. In fact, we exceeded
our annual goal for the first time in many years. Included among those contributions was a record total gift from the Board of Trustees. Faculty and staff giving remained exceptionally strong, with a 94 percent participation rate in the Education Fund for the fourth year in a row, which is among the highest percentages for faculty/staff giving in the nation.
We are grateful to each and every one of you for your generosity, which enables us to make improvements in campus facilities and to maintain this magnificent setting, to add new lab equipment and classroom technology, and to provide broader opportunities for travel and field trips to our students. Put simply, thank you. Your support is making a huge difference.
Richeson Track & Field Complex Dedicated
The generosity of donors is also evidenced on campus with the completed track, which is now known as the Richeson Track & Field Complex in honor of Sharon Richeson Kennedy and the Richeson family of Rothville, Missouri. She was present for the dedication ceremony, along with her husband, William Kennedy, Sr., a former vice president of advancement at C-SC, and her son, William Kennedy, Jr., a current member of the C-SC Board of Trustees. We also had several members of the community on hand
for the dedication including Canton R-V Superintendent David Tramel and Canton Mayor Joe Clark. The track will serve not only the Wildcat track and field program and other C-SC athletes, but also will be the home track for the Canton R-V High School track and field team and future regional meets, such as the Canssippi Relays. About twenty community members took a ceremonial first lap around the track after two student athletes "cut the ribbon" by running a short race to break the tape. Our
project consultant, a former U. S. Olympic pole vault coach, said our track is the finest in the region, the best between Iowa City and St. Louis.
Much more lies ahead this semester (see the campus calendar on the website). Our theatre season continues in a few weeks with "Moon Over Buffalo," featuring Hollywood actor Robert Costanzo as our guest artist. Exciting Wildcat football, soccer, and volleyball contests remain to be played into early November. The Board of Trustees will meet here next week and will be reviewing some very stimulating possibilities for the campus - developing a new master plan, considering the next major
building project, and discussing the effort to reshape the college's curriculum, now thirty-years old, in order to offer wider flexibility and greater hands-on academic experience to our students. I hope you sense the ambition the college has generated for itself and also that we have begun the year with both the affirmation of Homecoming and the promise of fresh directions. I can assure you that we are not standing still. And, let me remind you, too, that each of you has a tremendous part to
play in this college's success. To be continued...
Hope to see you on the Hill,
President, Culver-Stockton College
P.S. I look forward to being connected with each of you. I invite you to contact me directly at email@example.com to share your thoughts about this newsletter or about Culver-Stockton College in general.
Do you have an old classmate or a friend that you think would enjoy receiving C-SC Connections? Just send them this link www.culver.edu/alumni/newsletter/ to be added to our e-mail list.