Dear faculty, staff, and students,
Welcome back from Spring Break. Like some of you, I was able to take a trip, and I write to share some very good news from my travels to Northern California. My trip was chock-full of visits to community colleges, a meeting with Sacramento State University Nursing administrators, coffees with alumni and donors, and an alumni luncheon. Success was met at each.
During the first part of my trip, I met with administrators at three community colleges in the Sacramento metropolitan area. My visits were targeted ones—aimed at brainstorming ways Hiram might be able to get some of the qualified nursing students they are unable to admit due to lack of space in their program. These colleges turn away well over a thousand inspiring nurses each year. I am delighted to say that colleagues from each of these community colleges thought there were, indeed, viable ways to redirect a small number of their qualified-yet-unadmitted students to us. The same exact sentiment was expressed by my former colleagues at Sac State. If we can figure out a way to get just four or five students from each of these institutions to Hiram, then our nursing program could immediately become a fully-enrolled one. Dean Robert Haak and Nursing Director Connie Stopper are working with me on next steps.
The other part of my enrollment trip—a meeting with 15 or so independent college counselors—was also worthwhile. Thanks to the connections that Hiram alumna and San Francisco resident Jennifer Beckett ‘70 made, I had the good fortune of meeting with professionals who are hired by Bay-area parents to find colleges that are a good match for their sons and daughters and then to assist them in the enrollment process. It turns out two of the attendees had sent clients to Hiram in the past! Both had visited and had fantastic “testimonials” to share with the group. This was a great use of my time.
Enrollment activities were not the only things that kept me busy. Our Chief Development Officer, Jen Schuller, arranged for me to meet with many friends, alumni, and donors. Unlike shorter trips when I can meet with top-level donors only, this one afforded me the opportunity to meet with newer donors who Jen and I believe can move to “major gift” levels. I am pleased to say that conversations with a couple of them suggest such a move is likely. On a similar note, I happily report that one established donor made a handsome pledge that will serve us well. More on that good news at a later time.
I ended my trip with a group lunch that attracted almost 20 Bay-area alumni. As always, their stories of their Hiram days made me proud and reminded me of just how special we are. I am so very glad that some things never change.