June 20, 2016

Dear Parents,

As summer arrives in New London, I am looking back on all that has been accomplished during the past several months. It has been a rich and rewarding year and I wanted to write to share some highlights.

The year began with the announcement of a spectacular $20 million gift—the largest in Connecticut College history—and it ended with the framing of a new strategic plan. Both are transforming the College. The gift is centered on financial aid, career education, and athletics. The plan seeks to enhance our academic distinction, enrich the student experience, and support a vibrant, just, and sustainable campus. I am grateful to all of you who took the time to share your perspectives. Our planning work continues this summer.

If the purpose of such planning is to ensure future excellence, the achievements of the past year offer a good starting point. In 2015-16, our faculty received fellowships, grants, and awards totaling nearly $4 million from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Program, the National Institutes of Health, the Mellon Foundation, the Endeavor Foundation, and other public and private agencies.

Our students were equally successful. Brandy Darling ’19, won a competitive Critical Languages Scholarship from the U.S. State Department to study in Dalian, China. Annette Davis ’18 and Emma Race ’18 won $10,000 from Davis Projects for Peace to work in Quito, Ecuador. Simon Luxemburg ’18, Daniel Kramer ’18, and Connor Wolfe ’17 received a grant from the World Jewish Congress to promote campus understanding of Israel’s history and culture. Juan Flores ’16, an artist and scholar in the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, won a coveted Mortimer Hayes-Brandeis Traveling Fellowship, to study in Mexico. And, finally, a total of six Conn students were awarded Fulbright Fellowships: Kaitlin Cunningham ’16, Jessica Durning ’16, Taryn Kitchen ’16, Stephanie Reeves ’16, Leela Riesz ’16, and Kevin Ith ’14. This success, which reflects our longstanding commitment to global education, positions the College once again as a top producer of Fulbrights in the U.S.

You may have heard that Forbes magazine also listed Connecticut College among the top 20 “most entrepreneurial colleges” in America, based on the number of graduates who go on to found successful businesses. Our Office of Career and Professional Development continues to promote such outcomes with its distinctive curriculum and internship program. In August, we will be kicking off our newest initiative, Fast Forward, to give students the extra boost they need to succeed in a competitive market.

Looking ahead to next year, our Board of Trustees approved a 3.25 percent increase in tuition and fees for next year—one of the lowest increases in 40 years—along with a $3 million increase to our financial aid allocation, to bring the total aid budget to $37 million for 2016-17.

Many thanks for all you do to support your daughters and sons on their college journey. I wish you all a restful and productive summer.

Katherine Bergeron