To the University community:
Welcome back to campus for the restart of our spring semester. As surprising as it may be, only a handful of weeks separate us from Commencement Weekend. The sprint to the finish line of our academic year will be anything but restful. It’s my hope your time away from the classroom during spring break was both relaxing and productive.
Upon resuming classes, I would like to provide three significant University updates:
The Board of Trustees convened earlier this month, announcing—most notably—the election of new leadership, effective July 1.
In this meeting, the Board approved a $6 million capital budget that will focus on areas vital to the student experience. This action allows the University to secure bids for this work and initiate these important campus projects without delay. These include:
Athletics facility project
The Board approved the next phase of the design process for an arena project, as the University and the Department of Athletics continue to fundraise externally 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 use this estate gift, currently valued at just under $6.5 million, an arena project would need to begin during the 2023 calendar year. The University would finance this project exclusively through philanthropic contributions.
Earlier today, Athletics announced a leadership change within the men’s basketball program. The department will initiate 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 nurturing 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 Provost’s Office, Enrollment, and University Advancement, along with academic department chairs, have been working to launch La Salle’s Early Achievement Program, or LEAP. This program is an innovative dual-enrollment program that will give approximately 400 high school students in the Philadelphia area the opportunity to earn up to 30 college credits (the equivalent of an entire year of college) over seven semesters, before becoming a full-time college student. Tuition and textbooks are free of charge. Students will enroll in one of three academic tracks: Exploratory Studies; Health and Human Services; or Science, Business, and Technology.
I am happy to share the following updates:
It’s important to note that LEAP is an independently funded program, financed exclusively through private philanthropy and foundation partnerships. We have already received multiple six-figure commitments from several foundations, organizations, and individuals totaling approximately $800,000 toward our $2 million goal. Fundraising efforts will continue through this year and beyond, as the enthusiasm for this program grows.
We are experiencing great momentum at La Salle, with these three initiatives serving as just the latest examples. Let’s carry that momentum through the remainder of our spring semester as we close out what has been a highly successful academic year.
Tim O’Shaughnessy, ’85