High Five! President Martin Celebrates Five Years
Since becoming the university's 23rd president in mid-1999, George E. Martin, has been busy. With his sights set on the future and his feet firmly planted in the university's rich past, Martin is leading the university's collaborative effort to be recognized as one of the best small universities in the country. And after only five years under his leadership, the university has much to show for its efforts.
Earlier this fall, U.S. News & World Report recognized St. Edward's among the top 25 master's-granting institutions in the Western region. Students ranked St. Edward's above the national average in all categories of the National Survey of Student Engagement, which measures student satisfaction. The Princeton Review and Campus Compact also recently designated St. Edward's one of only 81 schools included in the new guide "Colleges with a Conscience." In addition to showcasing institutions with a commitment to civic engagement, this national distinction is designed to help high school students select colleges that emphasize service and involvement.
Such national recognition comes just four years after Martin introduced a new vision for
St. Edward's and a comprehensive plan to make that vision a reality. Together, the set of seven strategic priorities and the ambitious campus master plan define the future direction of St. Edward's. But despite growth and change, some aspects of St. Edward's University will remain the same. Martin is committed to ensuring the university stays true to its mission to deliver a personalized, transformative educational experience in a diverse, nurturing and supportive community environment.
To Martin, the role of president is not one of power but of possibility. He leads by listening, thinking, sharing energy and ideas, and encouraging creativity within the culture of the institution.
And speaking of creativity, the St. Edward's community recently surprised Martin with a special "High Five" video commemorating his anniversary. Click here to view the video and be sure to give Martin a big HIGH FIVE next time you see him on campus.
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Significant achievements during Martin's tenure include:
- Four years of record growth among the freshman class. This fall's diverse class of 602 freshmen, nearly double the size of the Fall 1999 class, hails from 27 states and four countries. It also is the first class with an average SAT score over 1100 (1112) up 71 points from Fall 1999.
- And once students come to St. Edward's, they tend to stay: 84 percent of last year's freshman class has been retained for Fall 2004.
- Freshmen aren't the only class to break records. Full-time undergraduate enrollment is up to 2,665 from less than 1,950 in 1999. Total university enrollment is now 4,651, up from 3,669 in 1999.
- The size of the faculty is keeping pace with student growth St. Edward's has maintained its low 14:1 student-faculty ratio. Since 1999 we've hired 58 full-time faculty.
- Faculty and staff compensation has continued to increase during the past five years.
- New academic programs include a student-designed interdisciplinary major, Criminology, Environmental Science & Policy, Environmental Chemistry, Entrepreneurship at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and a master's program focusing on leadership and ethics.
- Because college is not all work and no play, St. Edward's has paid close attention to co-curricular and student life programs. We've enhanced orientation and Parents Weekend programs, added fireworks (literally) to the fall Hillfest celebration, and improved both Homecoming and the long-standing St. Edward's Holiday tradition, Festival of Lights.
- The university has raised nearly $50 million over the past few years and invested more than $70 million in capital improvements. The endowment has grown by $12 million and we also have operated a balanced budget for the past 29 years.
- In late 2003, St. Edward's received a $7.5 million gift — the largest single gift in university history — from the estate of Houston businessman John Brooks Williams. The university also received a $2 million challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation to fund the 55,000-square-foot natural sciences center named in memory of Williams. The first phase, expected to cost $20 million, will provide 55,000 square feet for classrooms, laboratories and faculty offices for biology, chemistry and general science education. The Williams‚ estate has committed an additional $3 million toward construction of the second phase, which will be initiated following the completion of phase one, and eventually will provide space for computer science, mathematics and physics. Overall, the new facilities will more than quadruple available space for science education at St. Edwards.
- Award-winning Trustee Hall opened for classes in November 2002, and Basil Moreau Hall became home to 200 students in Spring 2003. We broke ground this summer on phase two of the residence hall complex.
- In Fall 2001, St. Edward's launched its first image advertising campaign, which has garnered local, regional and national awards. In addition, St. Edward's received news coverage on ABC World News Tonight and CNN.