St. Edward's University New College Celebrates 30th Anniversary
In Fall 1974, St. Edward's welcomed seven new students to campus as part of New College, an experimental one-on-one degree program for adult students whose access to higher education was limited by family, work and community demands. The university will celebrate the success of New College at an anniversary party on Saturday, April 2, for all New College faculty, staff, alumni and current students. The evening begins with a roaming reception followed by a dinner featuring a keynote address from New College alumna Luci Baines Johnson, '97. Event tickets are $25 per person for alumni and guests and $20 per person for current students and guests.
New College has been recognized by higher education expert William Maehl as one of the best adult education programs in the United States in his book, "Lifelong Learning at Its Best." The first program of its kind in Texas and among the first in nation, New College embraced an educational philosophy 30 years ago that has since grown into a nationwide trend. According to the Aslanian Group — a consulting and research firm specializing in adult education — 73 percent of current undergraduate students are nontraditional in some way. The majority of today's college students are over 25 years old, work, have kids, are financially independent from their parents and did not attend college straight out of high school.
Unlike traditional undergraduate programs geared toward full-time students aged 18-24 who possess little real-world experience, New College is designed to meet the needs of working adults. A portfolio program allows students to earn credit for college-level learning gained through life experiences, and four accelerated degree programs enable students to complete entire courses in seven weeks versus the standard semester system. And like all educational offerings at St. Edward's, New College expresses the university's mission through teaching excellence and an emphasis on the liberal arts, critical thinking skills, moral reasoning and values analysis, and an international perspective.
New College now has more than 3,100 alumni who hold jobs in just about every imaginable field. Notable New College alumni include:
• Toby Futrell, '88, Austin city manager.
• Bruce Mills, '90, chief of public safety for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
• Margaret Gomez, '91, Travis County's Precinct 4 commissioner and graduate of the university's Master of Liberal Arts program.
• Cheryl King Fries, '92, who has won film festival awards and a spot in a Smithsonian exhibit for her documentary In the Shadow of the Blade, which recounts stories from Vietnam veterans.
• Luci Baines Johnson, '97, chair of the board of LBJ Asset Management Partners and vice president of BusinesSuites.
• Cindy Kozmetsky, '95, a well-known philanthropist who serves on the Board of Trustees for the RGK Foundation. (Along with her husband Greg, also an alumnus of St. Edward's, she serves ashonorary chair of the largest comprehensive fundraising campaign in St. Edward's University history.
• Michael McDonald, '95, assistant chief at the Austin Police Department, acting assistant city manager for the city of Austin, and graduate of the univesity's Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Ethics program.
• Rob Rose, '00, who is currently pursuing an MBA at Cornell University's Johnson School through a $60,000 fellowship.
• Beverly Seffel, '02, who oversees United Charities — the Lower Colorado River Authority's (LCRA) in-house charitable foundation.