A Special Report to Donors
By L. Randolph Lowry, President on 7/11/2012
The following report was sent to selected donors following the end of Lipscomb’s fiscal year on May 31, 2012.
The pace at Lipscomb University rarely slows, but we do take a moment at the conclusion of each academic year to reflect on the year and anticipate new opportunities for growth and service in the coming months. One phrase continues to come to my mind—Lipscomb University is richly blessed! You have heard me say this before, but it continues to be an accurate description of our circumstances.
Your generosity propelled Lipscomb to exceptional progress during the past year, and toward an exciting future. Because of your financial support, I am writing personally to share some of the year’s most meaningful milestones.
- Pharmacy Accreditation. Just six years ago, Lipscomb’s Pharmacy program had not even been conceived. Yet it became the first College of Pharmacy to be established in middle Tennessee—the result of strong faculty leadership and a courageous Board of Trustees that provided start-up funding. Led by Dean Roger Davis, the Pharmacy program has excelled in every review by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. The final accreditation site visit was recently held and the on-site committee made no recommendations for improvement, something that is almost unprecedented. Final accreditation status will be announced on June 25 and will be retroactive to the College’s first class, which graduated in May.
- Education Accreditation. Accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, or NCATE, is widely considered to be the most difficult accreditation to achieve. In NCATE’s recent reaccreditation site visit, the College of Education’s 18 revised teacher licensure programs and four new programs were approved with no areas for improvement cited. This is remarkable considering that the College of Education has grown to more than 500 graduate students, added a doctoral degree, established several off-campus instructional sites, doubled the size of the faculty and expanded to seven graduate programs, all in just four years!
- Lipscomb’s College of Business became the first in Tennessee and only the fourth in the nation to achieve specialized accreditation for its accounting program from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The College now has 468 undergraduate and nearly 200 graduate students, 22 faculty members and global study experiences in China, Hong Kong, England, Germany, Italy and Brazil, with a new program in India to be added next summer.
Although accreditation is not the most exciting activity on a university campus, it is absolutely essential as the foundation for outstanding academic programs. It is a very significant statement about quality and impact when professional and academic peers validate programs at the highest levels. Lipscomb is setting the bar in academic performance!
More highlights you helped to accomplish in the past year:
- The new College of Professional Studies. This effort is unprecedented in Lipscomb’s history. It connects the university with the workplace by using existing academic majors or creating new programs to provide education and training needed for workers to do their jobs better or know how to succeed in new careers. The most prominent example of this workplace focus is the new School of TransformAging, created by Dr. Charla Long, dean of the College of Professional Studies. Among its objectives are to offer the nation’s most innovative academic programs in aging services and educate a new workforce; provide information and training for professional and family caregivers; and to catalyze research, conversation and thought leadership on aging issues.
- Three additional workplace-related programs were established. The new Master of Health Care Informatics is one of the few programs nationwide that prepare graduates to lead the effort to build a national health care information infrastructure, which is federally mandated. The Master of Civic Leadership degree is one of only two in the nation and focuses on social innovation and collaboration to prepare recent college graduates and mid-career professionals for leadership in career and community. The new Master of Science in Information Security is the only degree of its kind within 150 miles and addresses the shortage of skilled workers who are prepared to oversee and secure organizations’ data and information in an ethical manner.
The fact that each of these programs was brought to market in a matter of months from the moment the need was identified is a credit to an exceptionally well-qualified and energetic faculty who are in tune with their disciplines and the workplace. Institutions that are this responsive have a competitive “leg up” on the future, and the resources you provide position us to take advantage of these opportunities.
These achievements alone, in a recovering economy, would be great for most universities our size and for many larger institutions. But again, because of your support, there is more:
- David Lipscomb Campus School—which became Lipscomb Academy on June 1—received the largest gift commitment in its history when the Stephens Christian Trust committed more than $10 million to support facilities and programs at the school. Given by Bill Stephens in honor of his wife, longtime Lipscomb Board of Trustees member Neika Brewer Stephens, this commitment anchors a plan to invest more than $30 million in the Academy in the next ten years.
- The Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation. With a $1 million commitment from The Ayers Foundation, Lipscomb’s College of Education established this new institute to focus on improving teacher performance and student outcomes throughout Tennessee. It will emphasize teacher and leader development in “turn-around” schools and rural school systems.
- Lipscomb’s College of Education was recognized as the best university in Tennessee for preparing teachers, according to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s Teacher Preparation Program Report Card.
- Lipscomb University set its fifth-consecutive enrollment record, ultimately climbing to almost 4,200 students. David Lipscomb Campus School’s fourth consecutive enrollment increase, to 1,323, pushed the total institutional enrollment past the 5,500 mark.
- With record enrollments come record graduating classes, and the spring 2012 class was the largest ever. A total of 676 students participated in Commencement, including the university’s first doctoral graduates—in Pharmacy— and a record 197 graduate-level students.
- The Class of 2012 included 26 students from Madagascar, who excelled despite a coup in their home country and the fact that English was a third language for many. While taking very difficult courses of study, 17 of the 26 graduated with honors and one was a valedictorian.
- A $600,000 renovation of the Student Activities Center dramatically expanded the space and exercise equipment available to students and employees, in addition to an enlarged lobby area, new floors and more. Air conditioning will be installed in the SAC and McQuiddy Gym this summer.
- An Associate of Arts degree was established for students participating in the LIFE program—Lipscomb Initiative for Education – at the Tennessee Prison for Women. Enrollment has expanded to 45. It is the only college degree offered to prison inmates in the region and one of the few in the nation. The LIFE model was extended to the Room in the Inn program, a homeless shelter in downtown Nashville.
- The Charlie Daniels Scholarship for Heroes was named in honor of the legendary entertainer who has headlined annual concerts to raise scholarship funds for Veterans enrolled at Lipscomb. This year he is taking his Charlie Daniels Concert for Heroes on the road to 10 cities to raise awareness. More than 150 Veterans were enrolled at Lipscomb this spring.
- Spiritual development. Guiding our students in spiritual growth continues to be paramount. Lipscomb students have a higher Bible credit requirement than any of our sister institutions. However, we constantly look for spiritual development methods that are particularly meaningful to this generation. We have added four full-time campus ministers who work with our students in many ways, particularly to present diverse and meaningful worship assemblies and encourage participation in small group study, but also to make these experiences intensely personal. One approach we took occurred during the week leading to Easter. We intentionally focused on the call of Christ as illustrated in Matthew 16, when Jesus asks Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” This question in Chapel was met with a response by 50 students, 30 of whom were baptized that day.
- Mission and service. Approximately 680 students, faculty and staff participated in more than 45 foreign and domestic mission and service trips. Another 875 participated in the spring Service Day, performing 3,000 hours of volunteer service at 61 local sites. This is in addition to the annual service requirement for all undergraduate students.
One of the most important events of the year was the launch of Lipscomb:Next—A Vision for 2016. Building on the success of the Lipscomb 2010 Initiative, which invested $1 million per month for 54 months in campus enhancements and new programs, Lipscomb:Next seeks to continue that pace by investing $125 million in the University and Academy by Lipscomb’s 125th anniversary in 2016. Because of your generosity and that of many others, more than $41 million has already been donated or committed to Lipscomb:Next. And we are already at work!
- Fanning Hall Renovation. As the first Lipscomb:Next facility project, Fanning was stripped to its studs and completely rebuilt in only 87 days – what we called the “Extreme Dorm Makeover.” This $5.3 million effort turned Fanning into Lipscomb’s most popular residence hall. Sustainable building practices will result in considerable energy savings, including a reduction in use of nearly 2.5 million gallons of water, over the life of the building.
- Nursing and health sciences simulation center. This $8.5 million structure will provide a new facility for our rapidly growing bachelor of science in nursing program and other health sciences programs. The building will include a 16-bed unit that simulates a hospital environment, featuring high-tech mannequins that simulate a wide range of symptoms and responses to medical interventions. In addition, the facility includes a 12-station assessment skills lab, faculty offices and state-of-the-art classrooms. The building will convert to a 28-bed triage unit in the event of a crisis or disaster.
- At the recent Heritage Dinner, guests donated nearly $165,000 toward the new baptistry/fountain to be constructed in a reconfigured Bison Square. Work will begin soon on this new structure, which will become a focal point as the heart of our mission is expressed in the heart of our campus.
- Lipscomb University’s new Spark facility will open this fall in the Cool Springs area of Williamson County. Spark is a 6,000-square-foot, technologically advanced facility. It will offer flexible space and innovative delivery systems for Lipscomb’s graduate, adult learning and certificate students as well as for corporations and community organizations who are looking for a meeting venue that encourages fresh thinking.
- Four new master of science degree programs in emerging career areas will begin this fall, including Information Technology Management, the first in Tennessee, which integrates technology, leadership, information security and health care informatics into one program; Engineering Management, which combines advanced technical training with business management strategy and civic leadership components; Biomolecular Science, which has a unique emphasis on laboratory techniques common in the growing biotech sector with applications ranging from forensic science to cancer and infectious disease research; and Marriage and Family Therapy, which will provide eligibility for licensure in this growing segment of therapy that is widely accepted in faith-based and secular circles. Marriage and family therapy is now considered one of the 50 top professions in the nation.
- Beginning next spring, the College of Business will offer a new bachelor’s degree concentration in supply chain management in cooperation with Hang Sang Management College in Hong Kong. Our relationship with Hang Sang College will feature an exchange of faculty and students, and supply chain majors from Lipscomb will spend an entire semester studying in residence at Hang Sang, one of the world’s leading institutions of its kind. The College will also launch its Center for Global Connectedness and Collaboration this fall.
I could share much more with you—in particular, details about wonderful people of faith, knowledge and leadership who have joined our faculty in recent months or will this fall—but this letter is long enough. What you have helped us to accomplish in the lives of the students we serve so intentionally, during the most challenging economy since the Great Depression, is extraordinary.
Thank you for joining us on this journey of challenging our students with rigorous academic programs infused with meaningful, Christian spiritual formation. We know you choose from many potential options for your philanthropy, and we are deeply grateful that you invest in the Lipscomb community.