President Ross gives Lynn's fifth State of the University address

Annual Knights Unite Day of Caring in memory of Haitian earthquake victims announced; Lynn curriculum boasts national award
President Ross gives Lynn's fifth State of the University address

Published Oct. 28, 2010

President Kevin M. Ross reviewed successes, challenges and ambitious goals during his fifth State of the University address on Oct. 27, in front of staff, faculty and students in the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center.

Knights Unite Day of Caring on Jan. 12, 2011

One of the highlights of the speech was the announcement of the annual Knights Unite Day of Caring, a new service project that will occur each Jan. 12, starting in 2011, as a way to remember the lost but never forgotten members of Lynn’s community – professors Patrick Hartwick and Richard Bruno and students, Stephanie Crispinelli, Brittney Gengel, Christine Gianacaci and Courtney Hayes. A Celebration of Life Ceremony will take place that day at 4:53 p.m., the time of the quake, to honor their lives as well as the lives of their family and friends.

The past year called for a time of mourning, reflection and now remembrance, Ross said. Since then, “we are stronger in a lot ways… We have now gained and most definitely earned the reputation as the university that cares.” Ross said the university is dedicated to continuing the work of the six lost members of the Journey of Hope Haiti.

After the quake, the university established the Lynn University Haiti Crisis Fund, which raised nearly $54,000, to assist members of the campus community, including students, faculty and more than 40 Haitian staff members who were affected by the earthquake. In addition, the Lynn University Global Citizenship Memorial Fund was also started to aid students in educational experience and service opportunities.

Lynn’s curriculum receives national attention

Ross pointed out that Lynn’s core curriculum, The Dialogues of Learning, entered into its second year and received national recognition by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) for a second time. He proudly announced that Lynn was chosen as one of 32 universities out of more than 140 applicants to participate in General Education for a Global Century, a curriculum and faculty development project that is part of AAC&U’s Shared Futures initiative funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.

“The Dialogues are helping us fulfill our mission to provide the education, support and environment that enable individual students to realize their full potential and to prepare for success in the world,” Ross said.

The cost of education

Ross also focused on Lynn’s devotion to holding the line on tuition rates and doing its part to make college more affordable for our families. Despite being a private university during the greatest recession in a lifetime, Lynn has managed to keep the growing cost of tuition well below the national average. At Lynn, undergraduate tuition rose only 2.8 percent compared to the national average of 4.5 percent. In addition, there were no increases for room and board and various other fees at the university.

Lynn 2020 and the master plan

KMR State of the URoss outlined the Lynn 2020 strategic plan – now in its fifth year – and the campus master plan, which includes a new student center at the top of the list, along with enhanced stadiums for soccer, baseball and softball, as well as new on-campus student housing.

He also reviewed the recently completed additions to campus including the Perper Tennis Complex, which hosted last year’s NCAA Division II tennis championship, and the Wold Performing Arts Center which hosted the Klein-West congressional debate on Oct. 12 and the Haiti benefit concert featuring Dashboard Confessional on April 30. 

“Every day we wake up and say, ‘Okay, what’s next?’” Ross said. “We already know what’s supposed to happen when.”

The master plan has already been submitted to the city for approval.

Student Government Association President Mohamed Abdalla, a senior aviation management student, said there’s only one downside to the 2020 plan. “I wish it could be done before I graduate,” said Abdalla. “The master plan is amazing and makes a lot of sense.”

Lynn’s 50th anniversary in 2012

Lynn anticipates the celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2012. “It will be a celebration like none other in our school’s history,” Ross told the audience.

As he closed his speech, Ross said, “It is the dedication and drive of our faculty and staff; the spirit and strength of our students; and the support and enthusiasm of our friends that makes us who we are.”

Upon exiting the theater after the speech, Abdalla was asked if he planned to stay connected to Lynn University after he graduates, and his simple reply, “I am Lynn.”