Grove City College Draws National Notice
By Nick Hildebrand, senior editor of Grove City College
GROVE CITY, Pa. – After a season of success in 2017, Grove City College is focused on reaffirming the vision, mission and values that have defined the college for more than 140 years.
“It is important to make it clear that Grove City College stands for something. We aspire to be the best Christian liberal arts college in America. We do that through a core set of values and a mission to provide an excellent education, founded in faith, accessible to everyone,” President Paul J. McNulty says.
The private Christian liberal arts college ended 2017 with a milestone Giving Week campaign – the Wolverine Challenge – which raised more than $1.5 million in less than a week from more than 2,000 donors.
It capped a year in which the college implemented an ambitious new strategic plan, enjoyed record enrollment, launched new degree programs and a new website and drew national attention with a high-profile commencement speaker.
Vice President Mike Pence delivered the keynote address at Grove City College’s commencement ceremony May 20 before 606 graduates and thousands in attendance.
Pence endorsed the college’s independent stance and hailed its steadfast commitment to excellence in education. Pence told graduates they had earned a degree “minted in an institution of principle and independence, and you can be proud of it your entire life.”
Pence’s visit significantly raised the college’s national profile, The New York Times, Fox News, CNN and Time magazine among media in attendance.
Bolstering Grove City College’s reach and influence is a key component of the “Building for a Strong and Faithful Future” strategic plan, designed to guide the college in 2018. The plan lays out a series of goals and objectives for the future, including academic excellence, the Christian campus environment and expanding revenue opportunities that can support student success.
Efforts to achieve optimal enrollment through national recruitment initiatives and outreach to selected students, coupled with $1.5 million in independently funded, need- and merit-based student aid, paid off in 2017 as the college saw applications spike and the largest freshman class in five years.
Quantity was matched by quality as incoming students averaged a 3.74 GPA and SAT and ACT scores in the top 16% nationally.
Grove City College invested in physical and digital infrastructure last year. Over the summer, more than $4 million in improvements were installed including a new athletic track, refurbished Olympic swimming pool, paving and other enhancements. In August, the college launched a new mobile-friendly website – GCC.edu – to reach prospective students and parents by offering an intuitive and interactive digital experience into Grover life.
Also in 2017, Grove City College:
- Introduced new majors in Christian ministries, music performance, social work and neuroscience and 14 new minors that run the gamut from cybersecurity to musical theater.
- Was again recognized as one of the country’s leading liberal arts colleges by Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and Forbes.
- Supported student experiences through the Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation. Grove City College students racked up an impressive record at regional, national and international business pitch events, including advancing to the final round for a $100,000 prize in the e-Fest national competition.
Editor’s Note: This story was published in The Business Journal’s Growth Report 2018. The 144-page edition features growth reports from more than 200 local businesses and organizations. It was published this week. If you are not a subscriber, CLICK HERE to purchase a copy or call Eileen Lovell at 330 744 5023 Ext. 1008.
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