Campus improvements and LEAP update
To the university community:
Welcome to campus for the restart of our spring semester. As surprising as it may seem, only a few weeks separate us from the Beginning Weekend. The sprint to the finish line of our college year will be anything but restful. I hope your time away from the classroom over spring break has been both relaxing and productive.
As classes resume, I would like to provide three important updates from the University:
The Board of Directors met earlier this month, announcing, among other things, the election of new managementfrom July 1.
At this meeting, the board approved a $6 million capital budget that will focus on areas critical to the student experience. This action allows the University to obtain tenders for this work and to initiate these important campus projects without delay. These include:
- Campus security. Installations and upgrades to our access control system will continue, with a focus on residential spaces, to enable improved audit capabilities regarding movement in and out of these entrances and buildings. . Across campus, the University will be installing additional cameras and upgrading our blue light emergency phones.
- Life in residence. Cosmetic upgrades, including the purchase of new furniture and necessary maintenance works are planned for St. Basil Hall, St. Teresa Court and the St. Miguel Townhouses.
- Catering on campus. New equipment and furniture is purchased for Treetops Café, the former site of our COVID-19 testing center. The Treetops Cafe will also receive aesthetic upgrades, in preparation for its return as an available on-campus dining option for the 2022-23 academic year.
- Computer science. We will continue to invest in classroom and computer lab technology to enhance the learning experience.
- Commuter Lounge Upgrade. Thanks to the generosity of Administrator Robert Cottone, ’82, the Commuter Lounge on the ground floor of the Union will be upgraded in the coming months with new floors and furniture, additional charging stations, a kitchenette and an additional quiet study room. This refreshed space will provide a perfect space for our suburban students to hang out between classes.
Athletics Facility Project
The Board approved the next phase of the design process for an arena project, as the University and the Athletic Department continue to raise external funds for this initiative. In 2013, the University received a restricted planned gift, generously donated by John Glaser, ’62, specifically to support an arena project. In order to utilize this estate gift, currently valued at just under $6.5 million, an arena project is expected to begin in calendar year 2023. The University would fund this project exclusively through philanthropic contributions. .
Earlier today, the Athletics announced a leadership change within the men’s basketball program. The ministry will launch a national search to identify the program’s next leader. As with all of our programs, the team is committed to winning at the highest level and fostering the success of our exemplary student-athletes in the classroom and beyond.
LEAP, our new dual enrollment initiative
As you may know, colleagues from the Office of Provost, Enrollment, and University Advancement, as well as heads of university departments, have been working to launch the La Salle Early Success Program, or LEAP. This program is an innovative dual-enrollment program that will give approximately 400 Philadelphia-area high school students the opportunity to earn up to 30 college credits (equivalent to an entire year of college) over seven semesters, before becoming a full-time student. University student. Courses and textbooks are free. Students will enroll in one of three academic streams: exploratory studies; Health and Social Services; or science, business and technology.
I am happy to share the following updates:
- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and La Salle have signed an agreement that will allow us to bring the LEAP program to archdiocesan high schools. As part of this partnership, we have received signed pledges from 10 Archdiocesan High Schools: Archbishop Ryan; Archbishop Wood; Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast; Conwell-Egan; Father Judge; Catholic; Ss. Neumann-Goretti; and the Western Catholic preparatory high schools; and Little Flower and St. Hubert Secondary Schools for Girls. Each school has pledged to hire 25 to 29 rising juniors and seniors, starting this summer.
- We are also partnering with Steppingstone Scholars and are in talks with the Philadelphia School District and Masters Schools, a system of 24 charter schools in the city, about similar agreements for their participation in LEAP. We also plan to welcome six public and charter schools this summer: William W. Bodine High School (partner Steppingstone Scholars), Franklin Learning Center (partner Steppingstone Scholars), Abraham Lincoln High School, Mastery Charter (Shoemaker and Hardy Williams campuses) , Parkway North West High School for Peace and Social Justice and School of the Future.
It is important to note that LEAP is an independently funded program, funded exclusively through private philanthropy and foundation partnerships. We have already received several six-figure commitments from several foundations, organizations and individuals totaling approximately $800,000 toward our $2 million goal. Fundraising efforts will continue throughout this year and beyond as enthusiasm for this program grows.
We are experiencing a great dynamic in La Salle, these three initiatives are only the latest examples. Let’s continue this momentum throughout our spring semester as we close out what has been a very successful academic year.
Tim O’Shaughnessy, ’85