Lindenwood University President James D. Evans, Ph.D., talked this week to his faculty about the invigorating and exciting progress made at the university during his first three years in office. “Where We Have Traveled and Where We Might Go,” discussed many positive aspects of the school’s financial growth, donor and alumni participation rates, specific outcomes of plans, and student enrollment increases.
Lindenwood has continued to maintain a strong financial performance since 2006, with strong surpluses helping grow the university’s endowment.
Student enrollment also continues to increase, with around 14,800 students attending Lindenwood campuses in FY 2009. More than 3,800 are projected to be on campus when classes begin next week.
“Undergraduate (enrollments) have gone up annually,” Evans said. “For the fall semester there are 1,550 new day students so far. We are full to the brim and in a period of measured growth.”
Evans also spoke highly about the renewed enthusiasm of Lindenwood alumni and donors, whose generosity and support has increased.
“We always appreciate the gifts of our friends, and this year we had nearly 600 new donors,” said Evans. “The percentage of alumni giving was around 1 percent for the past 20 years, and now it’s up to 9 percent.”
Lindenwood continues to make great strides in the expansion of its facilities. The university opened the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts in 2008 and currently is engaged in several new construction projects. The university is renovating and expanding Harmon Hall, building a 119,000 square foot student commons facility, and erecting a new front gate at the corner of First Capitol Drive and Kingshighway in St. Charles.
Investments in Lindenwood’s Belleville campus are ongoing, including the addition of more than 20 classrooms and the completion of the first phase of renovations to the school’s auditorium. The school also has prepared for its first soccer team by constructing a soccer field, which will be feature a sophisticated sprinkler system, seats, and a scoreboard. These support the new day college beginning at the Belleville campus this fall.
“The more we invest in the school, the better it will be for our students,” Evans said. “We already have 64 students enrolled in the first semester of daytime classes at the Belleville campus. That exceeds our initial goal of 50 students. So it’s off to a great start.”
Lindenwood has become increasingly involved in community organizations such as the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association, Partners for Progress, the United Way of Greater St. Louis, and local rotary and optimist clubs. The university recently agreed to sponsor a charter school called the Gateway Academy of Science in St. Louis, which will open its doors on Utah Avenue in August of 2010.
Moving forward, Evans said he plans to work with faculty and staff to further cultivate the university’s culture of discipline, selflessness, and commitment to students. Lindenwood also will strive to increase public awareness of its many academic and civic achievements as well as the prowess of its sports programs.